Remote campgrounds often pose challenges with power and connectivity, but the operators of Eurobodalla’s primitive campgrounds saw these hurdles as an opportunity to meet the company’s sustainability goals.
Australian leisure management company Belgravia Leisure operate Eurobodalla Shire Council’s three campgrounds along the NSW South Coast at Moruya North Head, Dalmeny and Mystery Bay.
Belgravia Leisure operates health clubs, caravan and campsites, golf, aquatic and sporting venues in partnership with more than 70 state and local government authorities at 180 locations across Australia and New Zealand.
The company is committed to a sustainability plan that includes the use of greener technologies, behavioural changes and consumption management to ensure it reaches its environmental targets. Belgravia Leisure venues also have Green Team representatives who are passionate about implementing sustainability initiatives.
The campgrounds at Moruya North Head and Mystery Bay are two of the few remaining natural camping sites on the NSW South Coast. Both campgrounds have seen great success through Belgravia’s sustainability initiatives, including the installation of solar power and a recycling system.
Belgravia Leisure Green Team member Richard Lykke says the Moruya North Head site is a designated primitive campground, which means it has no 240-volt power supply for electrical equipment or appliances.
“When we took the contract to manage the campground, in late 2014, all the office equipment – which included a laptop computer, lighting, EFTPOS machine and a mobile phone – were charged by a portable generator,” he says. “Generators are expensive to purchase, expensive to operate, require ongoing maintenance and are attractive to thieves.
“Most guests at primitive campgrounds are seeking a peaceful retreat to nature so the concept of running a noisy generator and polluting the environment with CO2 emissions is clearly incompatible with the fundamental concept of a primitive campground.”
In 2017, the team began exploring the possibility of replacing the generator with a solar system to tap into the environmentally friendly, sustainable and free power available from the abundant sunshine in the area.
Inspired largely by the 12-volt solar systems common on modern caravans, camper trailers and boats, Belgravia Leisure purchased a 120-watt solar panel, installed it on the north-facing office roof and connected it via a 30-amp regulator to a 105-amp-hour deep-cycle battery.
Richard says there was some trial and error in time experimenting with different components and specifications, but the end product enabled them to harness an unlimited supply of free, sustainable and environmentally friendly power. This system has provided ample power to charge and run the office equipment for several years without a hiccup.
“The final piece of the puzzle was installing an inverter to convert the 12-volt power stored in the battery to 240 volts – to power 240-volt equipment to provide sufficient power to operate a printer intermittently.
“We are very pleased to say the campground now runs the office using sustainable, environmentally friendly power without disturbing our visitors who are here to enjoy the beach and the bush.”
To find out more about the sustainability policy, visit Belgravia Leisure.
Original Article published by Karyn Starmer on The RiotACT.