Editorial

This week’s news is all about renewable energy, with two solar projects and one geothermal project in North West Queensland all on the go in varying stages of readiness.

First we reported on Scouller Energy’s Solar Farm in Normanton which is awaiting Ergon to connect it to the grid. 

Scouller Energy is partnering with Canadian Solar to build and operate a 5MW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) power station with 16,000 solar panels on 7.2 hectares of land.

However it sits at the end of Ergon’s distribution network where it is costly to deliver energy and Scouller Energy is currently in dispute with Ergon over cost overruns. 

I urge Ergon to resolve this matter urgently and let this important local project get on with the job.

The second solar project Genex Power’s Kidston Phase 1 at Einasleigh in Etheridge Shire. This week Genex announced they had achieved financial close with a $100m debt funding arrangement with french financier Société Générale and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

The project will produce 145,000 megawatt-hours of electricity in its first year of operation and Genex have selected Nasdaq-listed solar power company First Solar to supply 63 megawatts of advanced thin-film PV modules with the project due for completion next year.

The third energy initiative is Winton’s geothermal project using the water of the Great Artesian Basin.

In 2015 Winton Shire Council announced an ambitious project to design a geothermal energy plant which will deliver enormous benefits to the local community including savings of up to $15 million in energy consumption.

The Geothermal plant will power all of Winton’s key council buildings and has the potential to power the entire town.

The plant will be the focus of annual regional meeting of the Local Government Association of Queensland’s policy executive which meets in Winton this week with the LGAQ saying it may unlock the potential for regional Queensland to generate much of its own power needs locally.

These projects make the federal government’s silly coal stunts in parliament look ridiculous and point our way to an exciting renewable energy future. DB