There were a couple of important happenings while I was away.
The first was the news of a possible solar-powered plant with thermal technology in the Mount Isa region.
The $600m dispatchable energy project is ambitious using cutting-edge Australian solar thermal technology to power the community and resources sector with low cost, clean electricity.
Australian company Vast Solar is looking to develop a 50MW power plant that will deliver a jobs boom for the area, including hundreds of construction jobs during the two-year project build and dozens of permanent, highly skilled operational jobs for its 30-year life.
The plant will combine solar PV, a large-scale battery and gas engines using Vast Solar's own concentrated solar thermal power technology, which combines mirrors and receiving towers to gather and store the sun's energy, dispatching clean energy 24 hours a day, hopefully pumping into the national grid as CopperString 2.0 goes live next year.
The company is looking at a site near May Downs Rd and they say they can deliver power cheaper than current alternatives.
If it comes to fruition it would be delivered in 2023, Mount Isa's centenary year and it would be a fantastic way to bookend the first 100 years of the city's life with a beacon pointing the way to the next one hundred.
The other item of news I liked also related to that 100 year anniversary, but this time looking backwards into our history.
I was disappointed to be out of town when former residents Steve Trevor and John Moran came here to promote a new miners memorial to commemorate the almost 150 people that died while mining the wealth of this region.
In my head I thought such a memorial might be a monument of some kind, but Mr Trevor and Mr Moran have grander ideas of a building or maybe a wall.
And why not? If Winton can get $23m to rebuilding their Waltzing Matilda Centre why shouldn't Mount Isa attract that kind of money to build a lasting centennial memorial to the people who died creating our wealth?
It's a great idea and the North West Star is fully behind it. Derek Barry