Kidston – once a working gold mine – closed for good in 2001, leaving two big holes in the ground – nothing but scars on the landscape, in the words of 5th generation local, Miranda Ryan.
But what at first may have seemed like a forgotten ghost town, was actually a golden opportunity – soon to be realised in a world-first solar + pumped hydro combo, which is just like a big battery that can provide renewable energy 24/7!
Kidston is the story of an old gold mine come good.
It’s the story of locals like James Harrison who, upon returning to Kidston, couldn’t believe that what he knew as a disused mine site, could be transformed into a thriving solar farm + hydro storage – and nab him a job in the process!
It’s about the potential of rural towns – once the hubs of industries past – to lead the way to our sustainable, renewable-powered future.
It’s the first integrated solar and pumped hydro project in the world.
So how does it work?
- The holes store water
- Water flows downhill from one hole to the next, creating clean energy
- Solar power pumps the water back uphill from one hole to another, like charging a battery
- The whole process uses 100% clean energy – enough to power 280,000 homes – and cuts pollution equivalent to removing 33,000 cars from the road!
Kidston proves that solar energy and hydro storage can pump life back into small towns, bringing job opportunities and energy independence, reducing pollution, and elevating these towns seated at the fringes of industry – to energy hubs.