The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has committed to support Genex Power’s Kidston Stage 2 Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (PHES) project. It is located at the former Kidston Gold Mine at the Kidston Clean Energy Hub in North Queensland, the project has a capacity of 250 MW / 2,000 MWh, equivalent to eight hours of energy storage.

This project will be co-located with the existing 50 MW solar farm. The proposed $777 million project (including required transmission infrastructure) will be the first pumped hydro plant to be built in Australia since 1984, and the first to be used specifically to support the integration of variable renewable energy generation from solar and wind.

Genex also has approval for up to $610 million in concessional debt finance from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. Genex and key shareholder J-POWER will provide equity to the project. EnergyAustralia will be the project offtake partner for a period of up to 30 years. A joint venture of John Holland and McDonnell Dowell is the EPC contractor. Furthermore, a 187 km transmission line, supported by the Queensland Government and Genex, will be required to connect the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub to the NEM. This transmission line is also expected to facilitate the connection of further renewable generation projects in the region.

The construction of the project is expected to be completed by 2024. The ARENA previously provided $8.9 million towards Genex’s 50 MW Kidston Solar Project in 2016. It also already provided funding for feasibility and development totalling $9 million towards the pumped hydro portion of the project.