THERE are about 50,000 drones flying in Australian skies at any one given time, according to Andrew Bradshaw, and as of July Maryborough Fraser Coast Qld students will just add to that growing number.
FLYING HIGH: Autonomous Technology CEO Andrew Bradshaw, Bruce Bell of Skills Generation and Graeme Nagle of Osprey Imagery with Head of Technology at MSHS Gavin Grantz and one of the drones that students will build and learn to fly from July 2018.Alistair Brightman
Maryborough State High School is partnering with Autonomous Technology to deliver a great new programme for senior Fraser Coast Qld high school students.
Students have the opportunity to commence a Certificate II in Engineering Pathways in Year 10 which would lead them to a Certificate III in Aviation by the middle of Year 12.
Within the programme, students will get to learn how to design, build and operate drones with a CASA-Approved Commercial Pilot License.
Mr Bradshaw, CEO of of Autonomous Technology said in 2019, the students would develop and print drone pieces on 3D printers.
Each student will receive their own individual drone kit which they will use to build and will also have theory-based lessons to learn laws and regulations about the use of drones. MSHS Head of Technology Gavin Grantz said the introduced curriculum was an “exciting time”.
“It’s a gateway to a particular group of students to head down and it’s something we haven’t catered for before,” Mr Grantz said.
“It fits well with what we do and where we’re headed and the couple of students I’ve spoken to can’t wait.”
MSHS principal Simon Done said the curriculum could assist with youth unemployment. “If you’re looking at youth unemployment and youth capacity to be able to go into an industry where there’s a significant shortfall of qualified people, we have the opportunity to provide that industry (with) local workers,” he said.
“The idea of looking at a significant growth industry and being able to do that locally, that’s just too appealing to bypass.”
Earlier this year, the school was one of just a few in the North School region to introduce the new national Digital Technologies Curriculum, involving I T coding.
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Stage 1 involves the preparation of the site, including roads and parking, while the solar panels will be transported and installed at the site during stage 2.
Stage 3 will comprise of post construction works including rehabilitation work to Blowers Rd and broader drainage and landscape treatments.
Once completed, the project is expected to generate many thousands of kilowatts in electricity to connect to the Ergon network.
It is yet undeterined as to how many jobs the solar farm would create.
The project’s approval marks the fourth major renewable initiative in the Fraser Coast.
It comes after a major deal was struck with a London based hedge fund to deliver two Queensland solar farms with capital costs of more than $300 million.
Australian solar developer Esco announced affiliates of Elliott Advisers would take 100 per cent of the Susan River solar farm, near Maryborough, and the Childers solar farm, near Bundaberg.
Both projects have now reached financial close, but neither has an offtake agreement meaning the electricity generated will be sold into the spot market.
Esco managing director Steve Rademaker said Elliott was prepared to fund the projects through to connection, entirely with equity.
Esco will remain as asset managers under a long-term contract.
Esco Pacific Managing Director and founder Steve Rademaker said Australian merchant solar remains an attractive opportunity for experienced investors.
“Esco looks forward to bringing jobs and growth to regional Australia through its extensive pipeline of highly advanced projects currently under development,” Mr Rademaker said.
Two major projects in Teebar and North Aramara were approved last year with construction pending.
Teebar Clean Energy director Greg McGarvie said the company was currently resolving the regulatory requirements to start construction on their multi-million dollar project.
“We’re working towards resolving everything so we can get a start on the project,” Mr McGarvie said.
Infrastructure councillor Denis Chapman said the boom in major renewable projects was “something out of the future”.
“Any work in this region is a bonus, we’ve got to generate employment, and this is the way forward,” Cr Chapman said.
“The more of these projects we can approve for the region, the more prosperous we will become
Commencement of construction of Esco Pacific’s Childers And Susan River Solar Farms in Queensland isn’t far off, and other Esco large-scale PV projects are progressing.
Childers River Solar Farm
To be situated 60km south of the Bundaberg’s CBD and 15km south-east from the township of Childers, the project web site states the facility will be up to 120MW (NewsMail reports it as being 75MW). Esco Pacific states the facility will consist of approximately 400,000 solar panels mounted on single axis trackers. Development approval for the project was granted by Bundaberg Regional Council in December 2016 and construction is expected to start in the next month or two.
Susan River Solar Farm
Approved by Fraser Coast Regional Council in December 2016, the $175-million Susan River Solar Farm will be up to 100MW capacity and built on a site approximately 17 kilometres from Hervey Bay. The Susan River project web site indicates the ~350,000 solar panels will be either be fixed or mounted on horizontal trackers. Construction of the facility is expected to start in the second quarter of this year and involves a build time of approximately 12 months.
Other Esco PV Projects
Also in the works is Ross River Solar Farm, which should be completed before the end of the year. Located 20 kilometres south of Townsville, the 148MW facility will generate enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 54,000 homes.
“It is clear that Australian merchant solar remains an attractive opportunity for experienced investors,” said ESCO Pacific managing director and founder Steve Rademaker. “ESCO looks forward to continue bringing jobs and growth to regional Australia through its extensive pipeline of highly advanced projects currently under development.”
The company has also secured planning approvals for three other solar farms – Munna Creek (QLD – 120MW), Rollingstone (QLD – 110MW) and Koberinga (QLD – up to 55MW).
Last month, we reported the company had proposed a 140MW solar farm that may include battery storage for a site near the town of Mulwala in New South Wales.
Also in New South Wales, ESCO’s Finley Solar Farm is awaiting approval. To be located to the west of the township of Finley in the Berrigan Shire Council region, the facility will be up to 170 MW capacity. At that size, it will boast around half a million solar panels. As the project is classified a State Significant Development, the application is being assessed by the NSW Department of Planning.
I was priveleged enough to be introduced to a lifestyle that would satisfy a peace loving retiree needing a quiet fishing village atmosphere not too far removed from services. My newly found friends Lena & Paul had exposed this quiet paradise as a result of me selling to them a number of lucious exotic fruit trees that they will be planting at their newly acquired house & land property of 800m2 in their new paradise seaside home property. Paul is a musical mystro in the style of the ‘blues era’. Magnificent sound. I know because Lena had played for me sound tracks from Pauls music. PAUL CHEESEMAN MUSIC. His sample tracks will be posted into my site > www.mymusicfiles.net when available.
In the meantime enjoy the journey into ‘LITTLE NOOSA-MAAROOM QLD FRASER COAST’