The Queensland government has confirmed that it will provide $147 million in funding towards a new transmission network link to Genex’s Kidston pumped hydro project.
Genex is developing a 250MW/2,500MWh pumped hydro storage project at the site of two disused gold mining pits in Kidston in Queensland, which will require a new 186km transmission infrastructure link to connect the project to the main grid.
Genex is aiming to establish the project as part of a new clean energy hub, with plans to co-locate wind and solar projects around the pumped hydro facility.
As a key milestone for the project, the Queensland government confirmed that it would provide $147 million in funding towards the cost of new network infrastructure – a $15 million increase from its preliminary commitment.
The funding package includes the construction of a new 275kV transmission line between Kidston and Mt Fox and the installation of a new substation at Mt Fox.
The link will be developed by Powerlink, which will receive the funding directly, and should provide sufficient connection capacity to facilitate the creation of a new renewable energy zone in North Queensland.
Genex CEO James Harding said the funding commitment was an important step forward, as the company approaches financial close on the pumped hydro project.
“This funding is a crucial piece for the overall project financing for the project, which is rapidly advancing toward financial close. We will continue to update the market as we move through the final approvals and documentation in the coming weeks,” Harding said.
“The Transmission Line will support not only our flagship Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project, but the broader Kidston Clean Energy Hub including the Kidston Stage 3 Wind Project and the Kidston Stage 2 Solar Project, with the creation of a new North Queensland Renewable Energy Zone.”
The Queensland funding commitment had been first flagged in 2019. Genex has been close to finalising partnership agreements for the Kidston pumped hydro projects for some time, but has faced delays as the company works out the final arrangements for each deal.
EnergyAustralia is set to serve as the main energy off-taker for the project, while the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility has been lined up to provide a $610 million loan to finance the construction of the storage project. Japanese utility J-Power has also worked with Genex as an equity partner in the project.