50MW Kidston Solar Project (KS1)
- KS1 is the first of three projects that comprise the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, located in Kidston, Far-North Queensland (270km NW of Townsville).
- This site was selected in order to take advantage of the existing infrastructure left behind from the closed Kidston Gold Mine, in addition to the ideal natural climatic conditions found in this region (situated in the highest solar radiation zone in the country).
- KS1 is located on the tailings storage facility of the closed Kidston Gold Mine. By its very nature of formation, tailings storage facilities provide consistent, flat surfaces, ideal for large-scale solar projects given it minimises land clearing and allows for quick installation of piling structures (environmental and cost-saving benefits).
- Financial close was reached in February 2017, with a total funded construction cost of $115M.
- Financing was underpinned by the 20-year Revenue Support Deed with the Queensland Government in addition to the $8.9M funding grant provided by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
- First energisation occurred in November 2017, with the project successfully built on-time and on-budget through EPC Contractor UGL.
- Phase One of the Kidston Solar Project (50MW) is predicted to generate 145GWh (145,000MWh) of renewable electricity per year, increasing the total renewable energy generation in Queensland by 5.5% alone (as of Feb 2017). This is equivalent to:
- Powering ~26,484 Australian homes
- Offsetting ~120,000 tones of CO2 per year
- Removing ~33,000 cars off Australian roads