Bushlight RE system impact for Chuula outstation
Kannju or Kanachi people have traditional country rich in biodiversity in the mountains, tablelands and sand ridge country of central Cape York Peninsula.
The first of the Kannju outstations to be re-established was Chuula or Chuulangun.
David Claudie contacted CAT in 2001 regarding renewable energy for his homeland. He was interested in solar energy because it is cost efficient and sustainable means of power for the growing and permanent population at Chuula in line with their vision for sustainable development of their homelands.
A Bushlight Household Renewable Energy System was installed at the main house at Chuula in December 2004. Shortly after the installation of the system, a second house became heavily occupied and had a strong desire to access the same level of energy services available to other residents. So not to create a divide amongst the community, they decided to connect the second dwelling via extension leads. They were careful not to overuse the RE system by managing energy use very carefully. Over the next few years, further development plans came to fruition of building another residence, an office and a couple of sheds. The community quickly outgrew the household system, and in October 2010, the system was upgraded to produce 49 kWh/d. Still today, the community is continually expanding through their work towards economic development, environmental and cultural heritage protection. The most recent developments includes installation of a couple of dongas to enable researchers and other visitors to stay comfortably on-country to undertake their work and improve understanding on knowledge of Kuuku l’yu homelands.
RE has allowed Chuula to move towards their long-term goal of sustainable resource management and to concentrate on their aspiration of self governance and economic and land sustainabiliy. The provision of 24 hour power has improved their efficiency in responding to business and corporate related issues through reliable access to email and internet.