Genex remains upbeat on pumped storage in result dented by solar plant outage | RenewEconomy

Genex remains upbeat on pumped storage in result dented by solar plant outage

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Genex says its pumped hydro plans at Kidston remain “an outstanding opportunity for large-scale energy storage,” in a half-year result marred only by Kidston solar plant outage.

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Australian renewables developer Genex Power has delivered a first-half FY2020 result dented by a “one-off plant outage” at the company’s 50MW Kidston solar project in October that hit revenue and generation from the Northern Queensland Project.

The company said on Friday that the outage, which was caused by a software issue that has since been rectified, had resulted in a 21 per cent decrease in power sent to the NEM across the half-year, while net revenue for the period totalled $A8.7 million.

But Genex was upbeat about the progress of its huge pumped hydro plans at Kidston, which it said “remained an outstanding opportunity for large scale energy storage.”

Genex is still looking for an off-take partner for its 250MW Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro), which will have eight hours of storage, after a deal with EnergyAustralia deal came apart at the start of November.

The ASX-listed company said it was still in talks with key stakeholders on the pumped hydro project, including EnergyAustralia and the federal and state governments.

The project has backing from the federal government’s North Australia Infrastructure Facility, and from Japanese energy giant J-Power, pending the successful signing of a new off take agreement.

In the meantime, Genex also had some significant wins over the half-year, including reaching financial close on the 50MW Jemalong solar project via a “world-first” green financing deal covering both the ready-to-build NSW project and the existing Queensland Kidston solar farm.

During the period the company also announced the completion of a capital raising of $21.5 million to fund the development of the Jemalong project.

“The past six months have continued to see the company progress and deliver on a number of major milestones in our strategy to become a diverse renewable energy and storage company,” said Genex CEO James Harding.

“The financial close and commencement of construction at the Jemalong Solar Project represents the next step in the company’s growth.”

“(The) refinance of the Kidston Solar One project with a $192 million project funding package was a significant achievement in the half.”

“The 100MW portfolio financing incorporated the largest Certified Green Loan by an Australian renewable energy group, highlighting the quality of the underlying projects as well as the company’s clean energy credentials.”

On its outlook, Genex said it was in a strong position to deliver clean, renewable, power to help Australia meet its renewable energy targets.

“The increasing impact of intermittent power on energy prices highlights the need for large scale storage options such as K2-Hydro,” the company said in its results statement.

Near-term focuses would include delivering steady-state operation and improving overall plant performance of the existing Kidston solar plant, and working to finalise offtake arrangements and financial close for the pumped hydro project.

Genex last year selected Beon Energy Solutions, a unit of Victoria Power Networks, for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract and an Operation and Maintenance (O&M) contract with Beon Energy Solutions (Beon) for the Jemalong project, on which construction has commenced.

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