RATCH-Australia (RAC), a part of Thailand-based Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding, plans to close down the Collinsville coal-fired power plant, located in the north of Queensland, Australia.

The company intends to convert the power generating station into a "clean energy park" equipped with 50MW in baseload power, reports designbuildsource.com.au.

The project feasibility study is estimated to cost $5.6m.

Project development manager Anil Nangia said that the study would enable the firm to better assess the economic viability of converting aging coal plants into solar hybrid installations.

The 180MW coal-fired plant will give way to a 30MW solar thermal installation and a 20MW solar farm. RAC also intends to set up a gas-fired turbine.

For the study project, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has provided $2.5m under its Emerging Renewables Program. The University of Queensland will collaborate with RAC in the study.

Located south of Townsville, the Collinsville Power Station was commissioned in 1968 with four 30MW steam turbines. In 1976, a 60MW turbine was added.