One of the world’s largest renewable energy companies intends to spend millions of dollars in the Douglas Shire on a scheme to generate renewable energy, provide a reliable year round water supply and solve the problems of the long delays waiting for the ferry.
Eco-Investments, have put forward a plan for a hydroelectricity project on the Daintree. The company’s media release stated that they had identified the Daintree River as having the most potential for hydroelectricity because of its consistent water flow.
They plan to build a water pipeline to Port Douglas so that the main population centres of Wonga, Newell, Cooya, Mossman and Port Douglas can have an abundant water supply all year. This will end the need for the annual water restrictions in the dry season.
Company engineers have identified the perfect location to build a 100 metre high dam wall that will create a storage area equal to the volume of Sydney Harbour. This would generate enough renewable energy to power the Douglas Shire. They would also be able to provide power to communities north of the Daintree, including Bloomfield and Cooktown.
The company stated that the dam wall would be used as a permanent all-weather road over the Daintree to replace the ferry. They plan to upgrade the road through to Cooktown so that it is wide enough to support high voltage power lines. The media release stated that this would become the new Cook Highway, saving the commercial truck industry hours of travel and as well producing a significant reduction in diesel-emitting greenhouse gases.
The new lake created by the dam will be called Lake Daintree. It will be used for sports such as water skiing, jet skiing and speedboat racing. The output from high powered water turbines will be strong enough to create the perfect white water rafting experience in the lower Daintree.
The Eco-Investments company said they expected the dam to create around 300 new jobs during construction. Most of these will be specialist construction workers that they will fly in and house in temporary accommodation that they will build onsite. After it is constructed, the site will be fully automated and will be monitored from the company’s head office in New York.
When DouglasNews.Network asked Eco-Investments about what would happen to the Daintree township and all the farms that would be flooded as a result of the construction, the company spokesperson said they would be compensated.
She said “ This generous offer will expire at 12.00pm on April 1.”