The Innamincka Hotel’s 774 solar panels now power accommodation, the dining room and bars.

Story Bruce McMahon  Photos David Kelly 

Today, the cool bar, dining room and accommodation of the Innamincka Hotel depend on relentless sunlight for 20 hours of the day’s power. Solar energy now powers bars, the kitchen, dining room, three-phase fridges, coolroom, 31 rooms, staff accommodation plus the public toilet block and restored Australian Inland Mission building over the way. No longer do big diesel generators chug day and night.

According to supplier and project managers, Adelaide-based MyEnergy, this is one of the country’s largest off-the-grid solar ventures. Since mid-2017 Innamincka’s 774 roof-top panels have pumped out 200kW of power for a series of Hitachi battery cells, which can store 430kWh, and 18 inverters. One of two 150kVA generators cuts in for a four-hour run in the early evening – needed or not – though that could one day be superfluous. Power costs are down and green credentials are up at this iconic hotel at the end of the Strzelecki Track. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #119

Outback Magazine: June/July 2018