Stu Watson of Sunworx
Stu Watson of Sunworx Greg Bray

Fiddler Stu helps Yarwun Quarry tackle power bills with solar

WHEN Stuart "Stu" Watson isn't playing his fiddle with Aussie folk band, Bullamakanka, he's fiddling with stand-alone solar power systems at his business, Sunworx.

In the past 14 years he has installed over 50 solar systems around Gladstone.

"I installed my first unit on Quoin Island back in 2004 and was asked to power to another six homes on the island," he said.

His biggest project though was the standalone solar system he installed for Butlers Yarwun Quarries administration offices 18 months ago.

"It's the largest I've ever built and I haven't come across a bigger one anywhere else," he said.

Owner Jeannine Butler said the price of the system was one factor in choosing to install the unit.

"It was going to cost well over $100,000 for the electricity provider to run power poles and lines to our facility and Stu's system cost us half that," she said.


Sim Kelly checks the solar system's panel
Sim Kelly checks the Sunworx solar system's panel Greg Bray

Mr Watson says it usually takes three to four overcast days to run the battery bank flat but running the standby diesel generator for an hour supplies enough charge for another full day's use.

"Best of all the quarry doesn't have to pay a quarterly electricity bill, which has probably saved them at least $14,000 since the system was installed," he said.

"Most of my systems are in remote areas so they have to be easy to maintain."

He says the original units installed on Quoin Island are still reliably producing electricity.

"They're as good as the day I put them in," he said.