Construction to start on Kidston Stage 2 PHES project in Australia

WCN Editorial Team 20 May 2021 ASIA ENERGY & UTILITIES

Genex Power has reached financial close on its $602m (A$777m) Kidston Stage 2 pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) project and is all set to start construction works on the plant in Australia.

Said to be Australia’s first PHES system in 37 years, the plant will be used to support the integration of variable renewable energy generation from solar and wind.

It is located at the former Kidston Gold Mine at the Kidston Clean Energy Hub in North Queensland and will have the capacity to produce nearly 250MW/2,000MWh of baseload power.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which has already provided $6.97m (A$9m) for feasibility and development for the pumped hydro stage, will now contribute $36.44m (A$47m) towards the project.

In 2016, the agency initially provided $6.9m ($8.9m) towards Genex’s 50MW Kidston Solar Project.

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is also providing $473m (A$610m) concessional debt finance for the project.

In order to allow the project to attain financial close, Genex Power has now finalised its capital raising process.

EnergyAustralia will serve as the project offtake partner for a period of up to 30 years, while John Holland and McDonnell Dowell joint venture is the EPC contractor.

Construction time and costs related to the project will be cut down by using two existing mining pits at the former gold mine as the upper and lower reservoirs for the PHES.

The Kidston Renewable Energy Hub will be connected to the NEM with the help of a 187km transmission line, which is supported by the Queensland Government and Genex, and is expected to facilitate the connection of further renewable generation projects in the region.

Construction on the PHES project is slated for completion by 2024 and is expected to generate 500 jobs and another 20 ongoing operation roles.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said: “The Kidston PHES project will supply dispatchable, renewable energy to the grid when and where it is needed and provide a blueprint for how we store excess solar and wind energy at scale.

“Storage solutions such as pumped hydro and large scale batteries are a key part in providing back up power and grid stability as highlighted in the Australian Government’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement.”


The project construction is set to complete by 2024. Credit: Rebecca Matthews from Pixabay.

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