Solar, hydro combo for renewable energy hub
A golden transformation for disused mine
The Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, north-west of Townsville in Queensland, repurposes an old gold mine as a pumped hydro storage facility that is supported by a solar farm. The site boasts one of the highest solar irradiation levels in Australia and year-round solar exposure.
This is a world-first project. We’re integrating storage with renewable energy, so we’re turning a closed gold mine into a renewable energy hub, that is really providing a significant solution in the Australian energy markets.Simon KidstonCo-founder and Executive Director, Genex Power
The CEFC committed $54 million in debt finance to Genex Power in February 2017 for the development of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub. This finance was repaid in December 2019, with the CEFC then committing an additional $23 million to support continued progress the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, as well as development of the Genex 50 MW Jemalong Solar Project in NSW.
Co-locating a large-scale solar farm with a large-scale pumped hydro storage project creates a combined generation and storage model that can be used elsewhere, including at other disused mine sites around Australia.
The 50 MW Kidston Solar Farm is generating, with capacity to produce 145 GWh of renewable electricity a year. This is enough to abate 120,000 tCO2-e and power almost 26,500 Australian homes. As the pumped hydro project is completed, it will also store excess generation from the Kidston Solar Farm.
Genex estimates that on completion, the 250 MW pumped hydro storage project will support 1,500 MWh of continuous power in a single six-hour generation cycle.