Whitsunday Regional Council has approved an application by Ratch Australia Corporation (RAC) for the development of a solar farm at the site of the recently closed Collinsville Power Station.
Mayor Jenny Whitney said that Council is very supportive of Ratch Australia in creating what would be one of the largest solar parks in the southern hemisphere.
“The development of the Solar PV site is the first step in ensuring that the Collinsville Power Station becomes a sustainable asset for Collinsville,” Mayor Whitney said. “This is the type of diversity that is required for the community in helping to re-generate jobs and ensure longevity in employment in Collinsville,” she said.
Collinsville Power Station operated until December 2012. Fuelled by locally mined coal, it had a generation capacity of 180 MW. It was also responsible for spewing an estimated 1.34 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year.
The zero-emissions Collinsville Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Station will involve a 20 – 30 MW facility based on solar panels. The Collinsville Solar Thermal Power Station feasibility study will examine the possibility of also constructing a 30 MW hybrid solar thermal power station at the site
RAC will also investigate the feasibility of using Novatec’s Supernova Linear Fresnel Solar Thermal technology to generate superheated steam to be supplied to steam turbines to provide mains electricity. A dual fuel boiler incorporated in the system would be designed to also use gas.
RATCH-Australia has a portfolio of power generation assets totalling 815 MW; consisting of five thermal power stations and three wind farms. The company is participating in the upcoming inaugural Australian Wind Farm Open Day; offering tours of its Starfish Hill Wind Farm near Cape Jervis in South Australia and the Windy Hill Wind Farm at Ravenshoe in Queensland.