A solar storage system has been donated to power the world’s first coral biobank in Cairns. Dubbed the ‘Ark’ for our precious corals, it’s a facility experts say will save the Great Barrier Reef. And thanks to the generosity of Solenergy, Risen Energy, GoodWe and OSW, it’s completely powered by the sun.
Solar storage solution donated to support our reef
Known as the Forever Reef Project, its first state-of-the-art hub at the Cairns Aquarium is now home to almost 200 species of coral collected from our reef.
While it’s an impressive collection, the ground-breaking initiative aims to find, catalogue and store all 415 living coral species before they become extinct.
Forever Reef project leader Dr Dean Miller reached out to Solenergy some years ago to secure the donation of a solar system to power the unique operation.
“We were driven to find and secure partners to donate and install a solar system. It’s so important for the biobank to operate in a sustainable way,” Dean said.
“Climate change is reason we’ve lost more than 50 per cent of Great Barrier Reef corals. So, in saving our natural wonder, we’re motivated to do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint,” he says.
Solenergy helps shine a light on biobank
It didn’t take much convincing. Solenergy director Mark Ridgley says the project really struck a chord.
“As soon as we heard about the coral biobank, we wanted to help. The idea that we can be a small part of saving our reef for future generations is incredible,” he said.
“That’s what we’re about – that’s one of main reasons we design and install solar systems – to help save our planet.”
Dean says he’s grateful for the support of the project and the expertise required to design a solar solution to meet the facility’s energy needs.
“In terms of energy requirements, the captured corals are maintained and bred in large tanks. But the conditions must be perfect for the coral to survive.
“The coral can then be used to repopulate the reef,” says Dean.
The Forever Reef Project aims to find, catalogue and store all 415 living coral species before they become extinct.
Biobank attracts global solar support
Leading global solar manufacturers were quick to answer Solenergy’s call for support. Risen Energy donated 54 Risen Titan 415W solar panels, while GoodWe provided a 15kW three phase hybrid inverter and 13.2kW of battery storage. Australia’s leading solar distributor OSW provided the necessary logistics support.
“The solar system will harness energy from the sun to power the biobank during the day. And, the battery storage will keep the facility running at night,” Mark says.
“Battery storage is essential for the facility in North Queensland. It means the system offsets 100 per cent carbon emissions and 100 per cent energy consumption.”
Cutting-edge solar storage system is a gift
Dean says the cutting-edge solar solution gift to the biobank is the foundation for a more sustainable future.
“The solar battery storage system means we can run this facility effectively and sustainably. What’s more, we’ll minimise our impact on climate change, which is the major cause of coral bleaching events,” Dean said.
“We can protect coral biodiversity, but our window of opportunity is rapidly closing.”