Good News for a Change: Old Mine Site changes into Renewable Energy Supply - Solar*Wind*Water
Australia’s first renewable energy project of it’s kind will combine solar energy and pumped hydro storage. It has been given conditional approval for $500 million in funding. The abandoned Kidston gold mine site - located near Georgetown in North Queensland - has been preferred for the project as it is one of the highest solar radiation zones in the country.
In addition the listed energy company will also incorporate the option of building a new 150 megawatt wind farm alongside its Kidston pumped hydro and solar project. Negotiations with local landowners are under way and a binding heads of agreement in place with the exclusive option to develop a wind farm which would be Stage 3 of the hub.
Gold was discovered on the Copperfield river in north-western Queensland in 1907. As men flocked to find their fortune, a small township was established and named for the state’s then premier, William Kidston. For close to 100 years, Kidston was a mining town.
“Queensland is leading from the front in repurposing old mine sites – as demonstrated by the Kidston Solar Project is just one shining example.” the mines minister Dr Lynham said to the North West Star News beginning of June 2018.
Kidston area, North Queensland, Australia (Credit: Google Maps)
The Kidston Solar Project is the first phase in the development of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, providing approximately 145,000 megawatt hours of renewable electricity each year to the nine million Australian residents connected to the National Electricity Market. This project alone will increase the total renewable energy generation in Queensland by almost 6 per cent.
The project is one of 12 big solar farms being supported by ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency) to increase the nation’s innovative planning and building of renewable power plants not only on a commercial basis but with job-creation in mind, short and long term.
An abandoned mine site
“Doing all we can to combat climate change comes with numerous benefits, from reducing pollution and associated health care costs to strengthening and diversifying the economy by shifting to renewable energy, among other measures.”
- David Suzuki
The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering our Place in Nature by David Suzuki
ABC News Brisbane, 2018 (viewed 26.06.2018)
Australian Government - Renewable Energy Agency, 2016 (viewed 26.06.2018)
Financial Review, 2018 (viewed 26.06.2018)