Australian news, and some related international items

Queensland coal town “rebranding” as a solar town

solar-_photovoltaic_cells-tallCoal mining town Collinsville vies to become Australia’s solar capital, ABC By Ben Millington, 5 Mar 17, While many of Australia’s mining regions have been hit hard by the resources sector downturn, solar is providing rays of hope for the small town of Collinsville in north Queensland.

Three hours south of Townsville, Collinsville has a proud, long history of coal mining, boasting it had the last working pit ponies in Australia — up until 1990.

But this coal-fired town is poised for a rebrand. Solar companies are vying to take advantage of the region’s 300 days a year of perfect sunshine.

In August, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced it would provide $9.5 million to both Edify Energy’s 70MW Whitsunday Solar Farm and RATCH Australia Corporation’s 43MW Collinsville Solar Project.

Edify Energy director John Cole said, given the potential size and scale of projects in the region, Collinsville could be the solar capital of Australia.

“It’s a very good place for solar because of the radiation levels in north Queensland,” he said. “For example, our site in Collinsville will produce double the amount of power than a project in the UK, and about 5 to 10 per cent more than in New South Wales or Victoria.”

Plan to pump energy into Queensland grid Another advantage in Collinsville is a decommissioned power station that sits on its outskirts.  Both projects plan to utilise the infrastructure to pump energy straight into the Queensland grid.

Edify Energy plans to start the construction of phase one this year.A nine-month build time is expected and 200 jobs will be offered to a town in desperate need of them.Local councillor Peter Ramage said the last four years had been devastating for the community…….


March 6, 2017 - Posted by | Queensland, solar

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