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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

The Hon Warren Snowdon MP
Member for Lingiari

Power turned on at largest solar system in Australia

Joint media release
18 February 2009

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Switched on today, Australia's largest roof mounted solar power system will generate more than 500 megawatt hours of clean renewable electricity every year in the Alice, Environment Minister Peter Garrett said.

"Less than six months in the making, more than 1320 photovoltaic panels now rest on the roof of the Crowne Plaza in Alice Springs, generating up to half the hotel's power needs directly from the sun every day," Mr Garrett said.

"This is a fantastic example of the Australian Government's commitment to investing in alternative energy solutions in our own backyard," Mr Garrett said.

"I congratulate the Crowne Plaza for the important role they will now play in educating visitors from around the world on Australia's ability to create a brighter cleaner future."

The Crown Plaza project is part of the Alice Solar City - one of the seven cities selected for funding under the Australian Government's $94 million Solar Cities program designed to assist the community in taking practical action on climate change.

Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon said it is wonderful to see Alice Springs as the showcase for the largest solar power system of it's kind in Australia.

"The Crowne's 305kw system will cater to around 50 per cent of the hotel's electricity needs daily, but this figure will grow to around 80 per cent during low demand periods, thanks to the Crowne Plaza's focus on being energy smart and upgrading a range of fixtures and fittings throughout the hotel," said Mr Snowdon.

"Visitors to the Crowne Plaza will be able to view the amazing PV array on the roof of the hotel from the ground, and then learn about the hotel's solar energy performance on the in-house 'solar channel' displaying twenty four hour real time information."

The Australian Government provided $1.5 million toward construction of the project.

"The Government is committed to an expanded renewable energy target and to investing in projects such as this that will support our goal to have 20 per cent of Australia's electricity from renewable energy by 2020," Mr Garrett said.

"The Crowne Plaza has today demonstrated how businesses can make the switch to clean renewable sources of energy for the future."

Commonwealth of Australia