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Top green energy award for Maria Island’s 13,000-litre diesel reduction solar project

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The "state-of-the-art system will ensure much more efficient and reliable power" for Maria Island

A project that has transformed Tasmania’s Maria Island National Park into a ‘clean, green energy hub’ through the installation of a new solar array and battery storage facility has taken out a top award.

The new solar system, designed and installed by Contact Group, is projected to save around 13,000 litres of diesel annually, reducing the island’s dependence on fuel-based power generation, curbing emissions and providing a sustainable energy supply for the World Heritage Area.


The setup features a 55kW solar array, a 215kWh lithium battery storage system and backup generators — all overseen by a remote monitoring system to ensure continuous power for up to two days.

Minister for Parks Roger Jaensch said last year that the project was part of a $12.63 million investment in the island, funded through the ‘re-discovered project’ and the ‘improved state-wide visitor infrastructure program’.

The “state-of-the-art system will ensure much more efficient and reliable power” for Maria Island

At the recent National Electrical & Communications Association awards ceremony, Contact Group was honoured with the 2023 Green Energy Award for the ‘exceptional system’.

Managing Director Wade Fromberg said he was “extremely proud” of the project and the on-site technicians who spent “many weeks” living away from home to complete the installation.

Contact Group family owners Trish, Bill, Wade & Annah Fromberg receive the award. Image / Simon Taylor

“Being a design and construct contract, we had many hurdles to overcome due to Maria Island’s remote location,” he said.

“A barge had to come from Hobart when required, as there was a large civil component and almost all raw material had to be freighted onto the island from the mainland.”


The system was designed in a modular way and was nearly 70% complete before even reaching the island.

“Over the past winter we achieved excellent autonomy with the generators rarely needing to start.”

A barge had to be used to transport many materials to the island from Hobart and Interstate. Image / Supplied

This remote island project is the second of its kind undertaken for the Tasmanian Government and follows a similar installation on Cape Barren Island in 2020.

Other Tasmanian winners at the 2023 state awards included RBD Electrical for their lighting and design upgrade of Glenorchy’s KGV Soccer Oval and Degree C for their work on the recently opened Glebe Hill Village.

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