Facility up and running with new system

The upgraded Roys Peak communications facility is powered by solar energy. Photo: Supplied
The upgraded Roys Peak communications facility is powered by solar energy. Photo: Supplied
The effort to upgrade the Roys Peak communications facility has been successful.

The facility, which provides important VHF communication to several organisations and coverage in the case of civil emergency, had been in danger of shutting down three months ago, after a lightning strike rendered the power cable useless.

Since then, the Upper Clutha Radio Telephones Association, which runs the facility, had powered the facility by a diesel generator, which cost them thousands of dollars every month.

But several funding grants allowed the association to install a new $300,000 solar-powered system on the mountain, made operational on Saturday.

Association chairman Ian Brown said the new system would be far more efficient and economical.

''The running costs will be reduced considerably to what they have been in recent years.

''We've budgeted for over $30,000 every year just for repairs and maintenance, so [with the new system] all of that's gone.

''The hut is fully insulated to protect it from bad weather and, of course, if there's four or five days where there's no solar to charge up the batteries, the generator automatically kicks in anyway.''

Mr Brown said security cameras would also be installed, following a break-in that caused damage to the facility in March.

sean.nugent@odt.co.nz

 

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