CEFC invested AU$50 million in debt finance in the development of the Phase One 50MW large-scale solar farm at its Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, 270km north west of Townsville. The innovative project is based around the former Kidston gold mine. The project will be the first of its kind in Australia to co-locate a large-scale solar farm with a large-scale pumped hydro storage project, creating a combined generation and storage model that can be used elsewhere. By using clean energy to extend the life of the disused gold mine site, the Kidston project also creates a potential model for other disused mine sites around Australia.
The project received a debt funding arrangement of approximately AU$100 million from Société Générale, with CEFC taking care of the EPC requirements and O&M costs. Development costs of the project will be handled by project finance equity and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), who provided AU$8.85 million of grant funding through its Large-Scale Solar Competitive Round.