Kidston Cranking A Heap Of Solar Electricity Goodness – And Cash

Kidston solar energy project

KS1 after completion | Image: Genex Power

Genex Power has released a revenue update for its 50MW Kidston Solar Project (KS1) in North Queensland, along with some energy generation statistics.

Located 270 kilometres north-west of Townsville and built on theĀ  tailings storage facility of the closed Kidston Gold Mine, KS1 boasts 540,000 solar panels mounted on single axis trackers.

The project, which cost $115M, was supported by an $8.9M funding grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). It reached practical completion in December 2018 but has been exporting to the grid since late 2017; gradually ramping up output since that time.

According to Genex Power, the solar farm generated 35,755 megawatt-hours of electricity in the December quarter, to bring its cumulative total to that point to 123,484 megawatt hours. The project was predicted to generate 145GWh (145,000MWh) of electricity per year – enough to power the equivalent of 26,484 Australian homes – but bear in mind the ramping up stage, which has only just completed.

Genex reports revenue for the quarter was $3,146,420, with cumulative revenue reaching $14,906,773. The company notes total revenue is comprised of energy and Large-scale Generation Certificate (LGC) sales up to and including 30 July 2018, after which LGC revenue reverted to the Queensland Government1.

A 20-year Revenue Support Deed with the Queensland Government commenced on 31 July 2018, which guarantees Genex revenue for the next 20 years – the arrangement is a bit like a power purchase agreement (PPA). During the commissioning phase, revenue from electricity was derived from selling into the spot market. Based on the figures provided, it looks like Genex is averaging around $88 per megawatt hour since the QLD government deal came into effect – but that’s just a guess. As this electricity is being produced during daylight hours, it’s helping to rein in wholesale prices that can skyrocket in the early afternoon; particularly over summer.

Genex’s 770MW Renewables Pipeline

Genex Power has a project pipeline of up to 770MW of renewable energy generation and storage – the biggest being the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub in far-north Queensland, which is comprised of several elements.

The Kidston Hub consists of KS1, a 250MW Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro), another solar energy project of up to 270MW (K2-Solar – 3 million solar panels!) and the 150MW Kidston Stage 3 Wind Project, which is currently at the feasibility stage. ARENA will be contributing up to $9 million in funding to support the development of the stage 2 projects.

Genex Power has also acquired the 50MW Jemalong Solar Project, which is located close to Forbes in New South Wales and is currently under development. The company anticipates reaching financial close on Jemalong in the first half of this year.

Footnotes

  1. The most recent spot price for LGCs published by Green Energy Markets was $48 (December 20, 2018). One LGC can be created for each megawatt hour of eligible renewable electricity generated by an accredited power station – Source
About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Daniel Debreceny says:

    8 year payback isn’t bad, although no doubt there are other considerations.
    After the initial 8 years though, they have 17 years of almost pure profit.

    Passive income that every consumer dreams of. With the massive funding available to corporations, no doubt that Solar power is the unicorn realised.

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