Genex is set to commence early works on a wind energy component of its flagship Kidston renewable and storage project, securing a $1.5 million partnership with Japanese utilities giant J-Power.
Genex plans to build a 150MW wind farm at the site of its Kidston energy hub in North Queensland, as part of a substantial portfolio of clean energy projects clustered around the 250MW/2,000MWh Kidston pumped hydro energy storage project, which is utilising two disused gold mine pits to store water for energy storage.
The company plans to build the wind farm alongside a 270MW solar farm at the Kidston location, with the company already operating a 50MW first-stage of the Kidston solar farm.
Genex has previously secured a $25 million investment commitment from J-Power that will be put towards the development of its pumped-hydro project, and under the new deal, will be able to draw upon J-Power’s expertise in the development of wind power projects.
“Genex is very pleased to enter into this development agreement with J-Power and thus continue to build the strong working relationship we have developed since 2019. With over 1GW in their global wind portfolio, J-Power brings considerable global wind experience to the development of the Kidston wind project, which will be Genex’s first wind farm,” Genex CEO James Harding said.
“The agreement provides Genex with access to J-Power’s significant wind experience alongside additional project level capital, and will enable us to expedite the project development activities with the aim of bringing it online shortly after our flagship Kidston pumped hydro project in 2024.
“The project builds on the development of the Kidston clean energy hub, with the existing 50MW Kidston stage 1 solar farm already operational, and the K2-Hydro project in the final stages of the financial close process,” Harding added.
As part of the new partnership with J-Power, Genex will receive a $1.5 million investment to fund early work towards the development of the wind farm, including site monitoring, project planning and feasibility assessments. In return, the early investment will enable J-Power to take up to a 50 per cent stage in the project.
The feasibility work will be used by Genex to inform its final investment decisions for the wind farm component of the Kidston development, with the company aiming to commence construction of the wind farm by 2022.
Genex is on the cusp of reaching financial close on the 250MW pumped hydro storage projects, which set to be one of the largest built in Australia in several decades, as well as one of the first established with purpose build reservoirs.
The company has secured access to a $610 million loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to help finance the pumped hydro project but has faced delays in signing off on the project as it continues to negotiate with project partners over the final details of the project.
Genex has previously secured funding for the completion of a new transmission network link to the Kidston pumped hydro project, with a new 275kV line to be built by Powerlink, with the help of Queensland government funding, which will also be used to connect the Kidston wind farm to the main grid.