Genex Power has completed the acquisition of the 50MW Jemalong solar PV project in NSW, in a bid to diversify its generation portfolio and boost earnings while it continues to develop its flagship Kidston solar and pumped hydro storage project in Queensland.
The purchase of the 50MW Jemalong project, near Forbes, was announced in September 2018 – an undeveloped project put up for sale by Vast Solar, adjacent to the 1MW pilot plant for its concentrated solar thermal power technology.
As we reported at the time, Vast Solar had meant to use the site to build a hybrid plant of 30MW CSP with 50MW of solar PV, but put the PV project up for sale, apparently in a bid to pursue its technology somewhere with a better solar resource than offered in central west NSW.
For Genex, the sale presented an opportunity for the company to begin establishing itself as a diversified renewable energy and storage operator, while chipping away at its priority Kidston project at the site of an old gold mine in Northern Queensland.
On Kidston, Genex is currently looking to refinance the completed KS1 – a 50MW solar plant – and wants to begin construction underway on stage 2 of the project: 250MW pumped storage hydro and integrated solar project of up to 270MW.
“We believe the addition of (Jemalong) provides an excellent opportunity to diversify Genex’s generation profile geographically whilst achieving exposure to the strong electricity spot market in NSW,” said Genex CEO James Harding in comments on Tuesday.
On Jemalong, Genex says it aims to complete the “outstanding works” required for the solar project to achieve financial close over the coming months, with plans to begin building the PV farm in the middle of 2019.
“The accelerated development timeline and the short construction period will allow Genex to achieve a step-up in revenue earnings whilst the construction of the Kidston Stage 2 projects proceeds,” Harding said.
“The combination of the Kidston projects and the Jemalong project will position the Company as one of the Australian market leaders in renewables and energy storage,” he added.