While many of Australia’s mining regions have been hit hard by the resources sector downturn, solar is providing rays of hope for the small town of Collinsville in north Queensland.
Three hours south of Townsville, Collinsville has a proud, long history of coal mining, boasting it had the last working pit ponies in Australia — up until 1990.
But this coal-fired town is poised for a rebrand.
Solar companies are vying to take advantage of the region’s 300 days a year of perfect sunshine.
In August, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced it would provide $9.5 million to both Edify Energy’s 70MW Whitsunday Solar Farm and RATCH Australia Corporation’s 43MW Collinsville Solar Project.