Genex Power’s world-leading solar and pumped hydro project has cleared another development hurdle, after sealing a deal to connect the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub to the national grid.
The ASX-listed Genex said on Friday it had signed a binding heads of agreement with the Queensland government-owned Powerlink to commence transmission line design works.
The agreement builds on the Queensland government’s Powering North Queensland Plan, which includes a $150 million reinvestment of Powerlink dividends to develop strategic transmission infrastructure in north and north-west Queensland, to support a clean energy hub.
Genex said the agreement had finalised a vital element in connecting the Kidston project to the grid by locking down a timetable to submit a formal Application to Connect in the fourth-quarter of 2017.
Genex, which aims to build the first integrated solar and pumped hydro project in the world, is up to phase two of the solar element of the project, which involves the integration of 270MW of PV, which will be used to power the pumped hydro scheme during the day.
Phase one of the project, construction of a 50MW solar array, reached financial close in February this year.
The solar phase two array will generate the energy to pump the water back up into the upper reservoir of the former gold mine, essentially recharging the power hub’s battery.
Genex said the deal with Powerlink would also take it another step closer to financial close for this part of the project, which was expected by mid 2018.
“We are pleased to have now finalised our approach to this vital element of our Stage 2 project structure,” said Genex managing director Michael Addison.
“This early works program to progress the design and easement acquisition process of the transmission path is key to connecting our project to the national electricity grid.”