The Queensland Government has declared the $1.05 billion Kidston hydro and solar project as a critical infrastructure project in order to streamline the development process.
Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk said, “Kidston’s 50MW first stage solar farm is already under construction and has created 88 jobs, out of a total 500 construction jobs and 18 operational positions expected for the project.
“This decision works towards generating 50 per cent of Queensland’s electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030.”
Minister for State Development, Dr Anthony Lynham, said prescribed project powers and critical infrastructure status allowed Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General to employ special powers to help deliver a project and ensure timely approvals.
“This is about supporting a project that will help deliver a reliable renewable energy source and support hundreds of jobs,” Dr Lynham said.
“It will help deliver energy stability and contribute to our commitments to deliver more renewable energy over the coming years.”
The move is part of the Queensland Government’s $386 million Powering North Queensland Plan, which is set to deliver 5000 jobs for North Queensland.
Actions under the Powering North Queensland plan include:
- $150 million reinvestment of Powerlink dividends for the development of strategic transmission infrastructure to support a clean energy hub, with up to 1000 jobs for Powerlink construction of infrastructure, in addition to the approximately 3600 jobs that will be created in the development of the three proposed renewable energy projects along the transmission line, including stage two of the Kidston project which includes 250 MW of pumped storage hydro and 270 MW of solar
- $100 million reinvestment of Stanwell dividends to help fund the proposed hydro-electric power station at Burdekin Falls Dam. Subject to feasibility investigations and other dam construction works, project construction will be targeted to commence from 2020, and support up to 200 jobs
- $100 million equity injection and reinvestment of dividends towards improvement works to ensure that the Burdekin Falls Dam continues to meet design standards, which is estimated to support around 250 jobs, and will support the proposed hydroelectric power station
- Commissioning a hydroelectric study to assess options for deploying new hydro in the state, including North Queensland
Kidston’s 50MW first stage is expected to be completed by late 2017. the additional 270MW stage two is due to be completed in early 2020, and the 250MW hydroelectric power station in 2021.