Hidden Valley Cabins
Hidden Valley Cabins is an Australian Tourism Award winning eco resort located in northern QLD. The resort is 100% solar powered and is Australia's first carbon neutral resort and tour company.
Hidden Valley does not have power from the grid. The owners, Ian & Bonnie McLennan, have always aimed to give their guests an optimum experience and over the years have experimented with reducing the use of generators. In 1986 they installed 12 volt lighting in the cabins for guests to have lights once the generator was turned off. A battery charger was used to charge 12 batteries while the generator was running. In 1988 12 volt lighting was installed in the shop and entertainment area. This then progressed to their house in 1997 and they decided to develop a small 12 volt system that would power only a few small appliances such as lighting and television.
In 2000, a 3000-watt inverter, 2 x 24 volt battery banks, with inverters for powering larger electrical appliances, 3 x 12 volt battery banks for lighting and 4 x 80 watt solar panels were installed. At this point the generator ran for 5 hours per day and the renewable energy system ran for the rest. However, this system was neither practical nor giving their guests an optimum off-grid experience.