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Graph of the Day: Queensland’s biggest solar farm powers up

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Watt Clarity

With all of the attention focused on “the world’s biggest battery”, an outsider might be forgiven for thinking that this is all that’s going on in the National Electricity Market at present. However, that’s far from the case.

This morning we see this ASX Announcement from Genex Power of first revenue from the Kidston Energy Park – so we powered up NEMreview v7 to have a closer look:

kidston graph copy

The first stage of Genex Power’s world-leading Kidston solar and “giant water battery” project began sending electricity to the grid in northern Queensland this morning, from the project’s initial 50MW PV array.

That makes it Queensland’s biggest operating solar power plant – at least for a time. Stage two will add another 270MW of solar PV and pumped hydro energy storage capacity of 2000MWh by the time it is completed, in early 2021.

One of the advantages in moving our popular NEM-Review software online with the development of version 7 is that we’re able to share links to trends such as the one above.

For those who are interested (and have a licence), you can access an updated trend as above through the template file we’ve created here.

Source: Watt Clarity. Reproduced with permission.  

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  • Kevfromspace

    Can’t see the graph, it’s too blurry. Do you have a higher-definition image?

  • Joe

    Nice to hear and see QLD, ‘The Sunshine State’, getting amongst now.

  • David Hurburgh

    Wow – 50MW that should keep an aluminium smelter powered for 15 seconds

    Who is kidding who here ?

    The #EcoWarriors really have lost the plot when they kid themselves these tinkertoys are anything but playthings for hobbyists

    • Mike Westerman

      I love it when trolls get so confused they step on their own feet! A 50MW solar plant could displace 50MW demand for even the biggest smelter all day, because as even my school age son would tell me, MW are power whereas seconds of supply is energy. As Sun Metals and Gupta are showing, only idiots ignore cheap means of substituting for expensive grid power. But then idiots are always in that perpetual state of confusion.

      • RobertO

        Hi Mike Westerman, The troll is wrong (but so are you but only slightly). They do use large amounts of power and 600 MW is not uncommon (and 50 MW in the middle of the day is a help). Both the Mad Monk and Two Toungs have stated that you can run a “Steel Mill” on RE and this is another nail in their coffin (we only need another 24 with some storage attached eg Pump Hydro alongwith the 5 additional nails) and the job is done !

        • Mike Westerman

          RobertO my comments were directed at the typically misguided ignorant scoffing tones of trolls! Having worked on hydro power stations (another form of RE and one that is also enhanced by solar) supplying aluminium smelters I’m aware of the quantum and issues of supply to them.

          • RobertO

            Hi Mike Westerman, Sorry if I have upset you, but I miss read your comment.

          • Mike Westerman

            Not at all Robert – it’s those who swallow the pathetic worn out lines of the trolls that upset me, and the manipulators like Murdoch that sponsor them.

    • Farmer Dave

      David, as well as the replies from Mike and Robert, I would like to point out to you the speed and scalability of solar farms. My memory is that I first read of this project on this site a little over a year ago, and here it is already producing energy. My understanding is that this is just the first of several PV farms to be built, and as they will be coupled with on site pumped hydro energy storage, we will end up with a reliable, dispatchable renewable electricity generator. I think this is a great project.

  • Glen Stickley

    Does anyone know when the power from this newly added solar plant will start showing up on http://reneweconomy.com.au/nem-watch/ ?

    • Probably not for a while in full capacity – it is energised but not fully connected and authorised. Think of it as being on the interchange bench.

  • Mark Fowler

    It showed up yesterday but minute (20MW). Great to (almost) see that orange band and looking forward to it expanding rapidly.

  • Bernie Masters

    Can someone please explain how the decommissioned gold mine is going to store the excess electricity from this solar farm? Unless the mine is sitting high in the landscape, the water will need to be stored underground so I can’t see how this water can later be used to generate electricity as it will need to be pumped out of the ground.

    • Mike Westerman

      Bernie I suggest you look at the Kidston website http://www.genexpower.com.au/the-kidston-pumped-storage-hydro-project-250mw.html

      which has a great fly over showing just how big these pits are.

      • Bernie Masters

        Thanks for the link, Mike. The pit sits higher than the surrounding landscape – very unusual and I can’t think of a similar pit in WA which usually claims the title of being Australia’s No 1 mining state which explains why I was curious.

        • Mike Westerman

          Wise’s Pit is only marginally above the surrounding land but the biggest head difference is because Eldridge water level will be lowered when water is pumped up into the enlarged Wise’s pit.

        • Mike Westerman

          well there’s always Kalgoolie!

          • Bernie Masters

            The superpit is still in operation which would be one problem and water is in short supply in the WA goldfields which would be another but, in theory, they could pump from underground into the superpit during the day and then allow the water to flow back underground at night, so the potential is there.

          • Mike Westerman

            Hillgrove’s Kanmantoo pit is an interesting twist – they finish open pit mining end next year, and then examining underground with pumped hydro using disused pit.

    • RobertO

      Hi Burnie Masters, Look up Hydro Tasmainer web site on making Tas the battery of the nation. HT are looking at all sorts of upgrades as part of the feasibility plan to install Bass Link 2, PHES, plus Hydro upgrades, and Peaking Hydro (say a dam has 4 turbines and runs 24/7, add another 4 turbines and run only during peak demand times, say 4 hr in morning peak and 8 hr in afternoon-evening peak time).
      See https://www.hydro.com.au/

      • Bernie Masters

        Thanks RobertO