• A people powered solar power plant is gathering momentum
A people powered solar power plant is gathering momentum
09 Jan, 2018, 1 Comment

Summary: A NEWLY formed Whitsunday cooperative is fighting back in the face of surging power prices and playing an active role in the reversal of Queensland's energy crisis.....

The idea is a clean, community-owned solution using technology known as a central tower power plant to generate from between 100 and 200 MW of electricity which could meet the energy demands of up to 50,000 homes.

Using a field of thousands of tracking mirrors, the sun's rays are reflected into to a central tower where the sun heats molten salt, the molten salt is then used to create steam to drive turbines and power can be exported to the grid.

The technology is already a commercial reality in Spain and North America.

Driving the Whitsunday community's plan to build a $800 million facility - perhaps at an unremediated coal mine at Collinsville - is Brandy Creek farmer and tourism operator, Paul Jukes.

Mr Jukes said the plant when operational can supply users with power for as low 15 cents a kw/h a huge reduction on the 25-40 cents per kw/h currently charged by Ergon Energy.

Next week Mr Jukes has a meeting with Australian Renewable Energy Agency to discuss the accessing of grant money to get the feasibility off the ground.

"I am talking about starting a local industry, our industry, there will be no corperations, no multinationals. It will just be communities coming together in cooperation to generate their own power and sell it to themselves," he said.

"Not only will we be saving money on power we will be empowering ourselves by creating jobs with jobs, training and skills in new industries."

The idea has received interest from Proserpine Canegrowers who have flagged increasing power prices as one of the biggest issues facing cane producers in the Whitsundays.

"Cane growers are very big power users. They are paying a lot of money for their power and this is a fantastic opportunity for them to reduce their costs," Mr Jukes said.

"This really is a no-brainer. Cheaper power and more jobs and the most important thing is the money stays in our community."

whitsundaytimes.com.au 7/1/2018

  • MyPassion

    09 Jan, 2018

    THIS IS A DREAM PROJECT. Congratulations to you all. The way forward for a sustainable future. I live in India and keep visiting my son in Sydney. My good wishes to your project.
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