Cloncurry Shire Council is looking into the potential to expand its green thumb by developing a solar farm in the region.
Currently in the early stages of planning, mayor Greg Campbell is looking to re-purpose the old dump behind the sewerage plant into a solar farm.
"Using the old dump to make green energy has to be a match made in heaven, using the wasteland for a renewable product," Cr Campbell said.
"This is in the very early stages and hasn't even been to a council meeting yet. I have been in discussions with Ergon Energy discussing the viability of this idea and a number of companies who seem fair dinkum in developing a solar farm in Cloncurry."
With the North West not yet connected to the national power grid, Cr Campbell said the idea of a solar farm was a stumbling block.
"We cannot sell it to the broader national grid, but just as far as the Ergon network goes there is a need for it during the peak time of the afternoon," he said.
"Overall it doesn't work electrically in a lot of places but here it does, so if we can get the numbers right we should be able to ask for a decent premium on what we sell to the network."
Cr Campbell said while council likes to invest in cool items like Florence Clark Park, council also needed to invest in ideas that would make money.
"A solar farm in Cloncurry wouldn't reduce our power prices, because that is set by the regulator," he said.
"However if a solar farm cost $2m and council could get a grant for 50 per cent of the cost, we could potentially make 10 per cent return on that investment a year.
"This means that a few hundred thousand dollars a year in income that we don't have to ask as a rate rise. This would also be a longer term investment and could pay off council loans quicker."
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