Work at the $126 million Kidston renewable energy project in north Queensland has officially started.
It’s come with a visit by Energy Minister Mark Bailey to the historic gold mining site about 200km north-east of Ingham.
Genex has secured private funding for the project which also received funding both under the Federal Government ARENA program and the Palaszczuk Government Solar 150 program.
The breaking ground ceremony was a sign of investor confidence in both regional Queensland as well as the State’s renewable credentials, Mr Bailey said.
He said the Kidston Solar Project was symbolic of the transition occurring in the energy market.
“Starting today, a construction crew of some 100 workers will erect and wire some 537,000 photovoltaic solar panels which when complete will pump up to 50 megawatts of renewable energy into North Queensland’s electricity grid.
“I thank the project’s proponent Genex for its trust in Queensland.”
UGL has the contract to build and operate the 50MW first phase of the solar project, with AECOM appointed as Owner’s Engineer
The second stage includes an additional 270MW of solar capacity as well as a 1500 megawatt-hour hydro storage facility.
The Palaszczuk Government’s Solar 150 program provided a 20-year revenue guarantee, Mr Bailey said.
Genex Power managing director Michael Addison said the project was a showcase for the potential of large scale renewable projects in Queensland,.
“The successful deployment of the stage 1 solar project at Kidston will now enable Genex to fast track development of the stage 2 expansion and, importantly, the 250MW pumped storage project at Kidston,” Mr Addison said.
Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government has a renewable energy commitment to Queenslanders to achieve a 50 percent renewable energy target by 2030.
““The Palaszczuk Government has kick-started the renewable energy boom in Queensland with more than 1GW of privately funded renewable energy projects currently in the works delivering more than $2 billion of new investment to Queensland and more than 1900 direct jobs, mostly in our regions – with more to come.”
Construction of the Kidston Solar Farm is expected to be completed and grid-connected and by early 2018.
Further information about Queensland’s support for large-scale solar is available athttps://www.business.qld.gov.au/industry/energy/renewable-energy/solar-150