Remote campsites often present performance and connectivity challenges. However, the operators of Eurobodalla's primitive campsites saw these hurdles as an opportunity to meet the company's sustainability goals.
The Australian leisure management company Belgravia Leisure operates the three Eurobodalla Shire Council campsites along the south coast of New South Wales at Moruya North Head, Dalmeny and Mystery Bay.
Belgravia Leisure operates health clubs, caravan and campsites, golf, water and sports facilities in 180 locations in Australia and New Zealand, in partnership with more than 70 state and local authorities.
The company is committed to a sustainability plan that includes the use of greener technologies, behavior change and consumption management to ensure environmental goals are met. Belgravia's leisure facilities also have representatives from the Green Team who are passionate about implementing sustainability initiatives.
The campsites at Moruya North Head and Mystery Bay are two of the few natural campsites on the south coast of New South Wales. Both campsites have achieved great success through Belgravia's sustainability initiatives, including the installation of solar energy and a recycling system.
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Richard Lykke, member of the Belgravia Leisure Green Team, says the Moruya North Head site is a designated primitive campsite which means it does not have a 240 volt power supply for electrical appliances or appliances.
“When we signed the contract to manage the campsite at the end of 2014, all office equipment – including a laptop, lighting, EFTPOS device and mobile phone – was charged by a portable generator,” he says. “Generators are expensive to buy, expensive to run, require constant maintenance and are attractive to thieves.
“Most guests at primitive campsites are looking for a peaceful retreat in nature, so the concept of running a noisy generator and polluting the environment with CO2 emissions is clearly inconsistent with the basic concept of a primitive campsite.”
In 2017, the team began exploring the possibility of replacing the generator with a solar array to take advantage of the environmentally friendly, sustainable, and free electricity available from the abundant sunshine in the area.
Belgravia Leisure was largely inspired by the 12 volt solar systems found in modern day caravans, RV trailers and boats. She bought a 120-watt solar panel, installed it on the north-facing office roof, and connected it to a 105-amp-hour deep cycle battery through a 30-amp regulator.
According to Richard, there have been some attempts to experiment with different components and specifications, but the end product allowed them to use an unlimited amount of free, sustainable, and environmentally friendly electricity. This system provides enough power to charge and operate the office equipment for several years without hiccups.
“The final piece of the puzzle was the installation of an inverter to convert the 12-volt power stored in the battery into 240 volts – to supply 240-volt devices with enough power to temporarily run a printer.
“We are very excited that the campsite is now running the office with sustainable, environmentally friendly energy without disturbing our visitors who are here to enjoy the beach and the bush.”
To learn more about sustainability policy, visit Belgravia Leisure.
Original article by Karyn Starmer on The RiotACT.