Two hundred and seventy three solar panels were last month installed at Jaques Coffee Plantation near Mareeba. Rob Jaques and his brother Jason who manage this successful coffee farm, reckon the 500kW produced would be enough to power 25 houses.
The Jaques are going to use the panels to power their farm and irrigate the 85,000 trees that currently produce up to 170,000 tonnes of coffee a year. “We wanted to turn to green power, solar seemed like the best option”…the solar power generated [is] already pumping electricity back into the grid.
The Jaques’ green credentials have extended into biofuels and planting trees. The family has also planted 2000 pangamia pinata bio-diesel trees, each tree (after four years) yields up to 40 litres of bio-diesel a year, and thousands of African mahogany and sandalwood trees which will generate the potential for carbon credits as well as producing the highly prized timber and sandalwood oil.