Grand solar future – Solar Power for Grandchester
A small town with a big history situated on the southeast coast of Queensland Australia is the candidate for the study of Solar Power for Grandchester. Located about 80 kilometers outside of Brisbane, Grandchester was a small village that arose as a result of being one of the first railway terminals in the world.
Since it sits close to Brisbane and is a part of Queensland it is characteristics that are fairly similar to that of areas close by, like the sunshine coast and gold coast and is hence blessed with plenty if sunshine throughout the year. This makes Grandchester a prime candidate for solar power study.
History – Grandhchester was the terminus for the first narrow gauge railway line in the world. When a railway line started from Ipswich, about 30 miles away in 1865, Grandchester was the next and last station for about 10 months till the line was further extended. It was then named Bigge Camp and was changed on the suggestion of the governor’s wife when the railway line opened. Bigge, a word in old English was translated to Grand and camp was changed to Chester or settlement and hence the modern name.
Population – After the railways extended further into Ladley and Gatton, Grandchester didn’t receive much growth. Although in the twentieth century it had some prominence of being a logging and sawmill town, it didn’t see exponential growth. In the last census conducted around 2011, it had a population of 504 individuals.
Economics – like many small towns found in the mid nineteenth century Grandchester was a farming and logging town that slowly grew into the twentieth and twenty first century. As economic and job patterns changed Grandchester stayed in the quaintness of the bygone era. This however changed its fortune later and that is where the role of solar power in Grandchester can play a big role.
Tourism – Because of its distinction of being the first narrow gauge railway terminus and the fact that most of the infrastructure of the railway system has remained intact. Grandchester remains an attractive historical tourist destination. Although the tourist potentials are yet to be tapped, it could be a big boon for the area.
Potential – If tourism is promoted and encouraged in the area, then the potential for solar power in Grandchester, although on a small scale would be very good. Since it has a small population implementing small scale solar power would be fairly easy. If new business establishments come up, then can make use of the solar power instead of having to rely on power grids and hence can start off with clean renewable energy.
Currently, Grandchester has a single hotel and a single recreational reserve, but if tourism and especially historical tourism is encouraged then it could transform this sleepy little rural town into a great destination for tourists. With a bigger inflow of people, power requirements would definitely increase and solar power in Grandchester can step in to fill the requirement even before newer grid lines are set up to draw more power from conventional power grids that contribute so much to pollution and environmental degradation.