The Kidston Solar Project (Phase Two 270MW) will be integrated and co-located with the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project (250MW). The 270MW Solar Project will power the pumped hydro scheme during the day, using the solar energy generated to pump the water back up into the upper reservoir (essentially 're-charging' the battery).
The integrated scheme (Solar/Hydro) can be flexible in its operation, with the ability to also dispatch the solar energy directly into the National Electricity Market (NEM) if economical.
This will be the first integrated solar/pumped hydro project in the world. By pairing the two technologies, it is possible to create a reliable, predictable and affordable energy generator that is entirely renewable.
Had the 270MW Solar Project been in operation today, it would be the largest solar project in the southern hemisphere, almost 2.5 times the size of the largest solar farm in Australia.
Based on the Kidston Solar Project (Phase One 50MW), The Kidston Solar Project (Phase Two 270MW) is anticipated to generate 783GWh (783,000MWh) of renewable electricity per year. This is equivalent to:
Powering ~143,014 Australian homes
Offsetting ~648,000 tones of CO2 per year
Removing ~178,200 cars off Australian roads
By building this project, Genex is able to reduce losses associated with importing electricity from the grid for the pumped storage scheme, as well as mitigating any risk associated with rising overnight electricity prices when pumped storage schemes are usually 'recharging'.
The Kidston Renewable Energy Hub
The Kidston Renewable Energy Hub is located in Northern Queensland on the site of the historical Kidston Gold Mine. The site is situated some 270km north west of Townsville, near the township of Georgetown.
The site was selected for a number of reasons
One of the highest solar radiation areas in Australia
The only solar project located in the “red zone” (>24MJ/m2 per day) which is also connected to the NEM
Consistent strong solar exposure throughout the year
Good road access from Townsville and Cairns
Onsite accommodation camp suitable for construction needs
Good condition access road throughout the site
Existing substation and transmission line located adjacent to plant