21 October 2013 — A supermarket on the remote Mornington Island, off the coast of Queensland in the Gulf of Carpenteria, has slashed energy costs by more than $25,000 a year thanks to a new solar installation and an LED retrofit.
The not-for-profit Gununamanda Limited had been spending close to $100,000 a year before partnering with energy company Infinity Power to install a 33 kilowatt solar system, two solar hot water systems and 300 LEDs.
Gununamanda manager Vicki Waring said the business had previously been struggling to afford grid-supplied electricity.
“Not only were our power bills becoming unmanageable, we were also looking at having to spend a significant amount to expand our access to the grid,” Ms Waring said.
“Our freight bill was approaching $1 million a year; we needed to make cuts in other areas of the business. Becoming more energy efficient really helped us make huge savings,” she said.
Infinity Power’s Andrew Haddow said the solar PV system had reduced electricity consumption by more than 70,000 kilowatt-hours a year, saving about 20 per cent on power bills.
“On top of this, replacing all fluorescent bulbs with LED lights will save around 18,000kWh every year, which will see a further saving of up to 10 per cent off electricity bills,” he said.
Ms Waring said that having an amount of energy independence was crucial for the business bottom line.
“Ultimately, installing such a comprehensive solar power system has meant we no longer rely solely on the power grid, which is hugely beneficial for us as a remote community, helping cut costs and future-proof our business,” she said.