Facing life with renewed energy
GEOFF Clarke has glimpsed the future and likes it.
The Rockhampton businessman, an innovator who has developed a range of pre-cast concrete buildings, is the first man in Australia to power a car with a windmill.
The vehicle, an electric Mitsubishi, can be recharged from the mains.
But Geoff, chief executive of the Chameleon Group of Companies, has gone above and beyond in his quest to embrace the future, by hooking up the vehicle to a wind turbine on his premises on the Bruce Hwy.
Visitors to the first Capricorn Innovation Festival this weekend will be able to take a drive in the i-MiEV saloon car which Geoff can also juice-up using solar panels.
"This is about making the Rocky region think outside its little square," he said.
"By this time next year, there will be an electric vehicle you can recharge at home on sale in Australia for about $20,000.
"For commuters it will be the ideal way of getting around using renewables."
Geoff said the Central Queensland climate was perfect for the new generation of ecologically-friendly cars and for most people, the festival was the first opportunity to see the technology in action.
The festival, which will be free to enter, features products and services from 20 local companies.
It is a collaborative effort, put together with the help of the Federal Government, CQUniversity, Capricorn Enterprise, the CQ Innovative Regions Centre and the regional council.
Innovations in the fields of renewable energy, water, construction, sustainability and building design will be on display. Chameleon's premises are 3.8km south of Yeppen Roundabout on Bruce Hwy.
The festival is open today (Friday) and tomorrow during business hours.