Ratch Australia is to develop a 50 megawatt "clean erergy park", to replace a 180 megawatt coal-fired power station, which it is currently decommissioning, at Collinsville, south-west of Bowen, in Queenland.

The clean energy park will have a combination of solar PV and solar thermal installations with a gas fired booster.

The company has been awarded $2.5 million by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, in the form of a research grant to investigate the extent to which ageing coal-fired turbines could be re-purposed as solar hybrid plants. The funds are part of those which were originally allocated to the Solar Flagship programme.

The 20 megawatt solar PV component will be constructed first with the solar thermal installation expected to be completed by February 2015.