Mackay innovator takes solar to the mines

solar farm

An energy and mining specialist based in Mackay, Queensland, has developed a fully self‑contained living unit that generates its own electricity through solar power.

Linked Group, who showcased the EcoHabitat unit along with other innovations at the Myriad Festival in Brisbane last month, produce an array of renewable energy options ranging from a solar carport, to a factory and office complex, all powered by off-the-grid renewable energy.

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the innovative system didn’t require a fit out from an electrician or plumber – reducing both costs and emissions.

“We’re committed to increasing the ability of regional innovators like Linked Group to translate ideas into products and services that help to make the world a better place, while growing the economy,” she said.

“When it comes to creating the jobs of the future in Mackay, it’s important for the government to partner with innovative businesses like Linked Group.”

Advance Queensland’s $6 million Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP) supports regional partnerships with a focus on innovation initiatives and Queensland Innovation Minister Kate Jones said Linked Group was a great example of an innovative business kicking goals internationally.

“We’re investing in innovation to diversify Queensland’s economy and ensure we’re creating sustainable jobs for our children and grandchildren,” she said.

“Renewable energy is a growth area when it comes to creating sustainable jobs for the people of this state.”

Linked Group founder Jason Sharam said Linked Group got noticed because it is unique in the mining region.

“It’s not often that you associate mining with renewable energy,” Mr Sharam said.

“But the two can co-exist and it is possible to reduce emissions and improve workplace health and safety by eliminating diesel fumes from the environment.

“The beauty of our EcoHabitat donga is that it has major cost savings being fully self-sufficient with solar power and water tanks. It’s interconnectable so resources can be shared.”

ARIP is part of the $650 million Advance Queensland whole-of-government initiative to transform Queensland’s economy, create knowledge jobs of the future and build the state’s reputation as a global innovation and investment destination.

Under ARIP, the Palaszczuk Government is supporting innovative businesses and communities across Queensland in a statewide commitment to boost innovation and entrepreneurship and empower the regions.

The Myriad Festival was held in Brisbane at the Royal International Convention Centre in May.