The first signs of life have been shown at Genex’s 50MW Jemalong solar farm in central west NSW, with the project showing a small burst of electricity output for the first time.
Genex has constructed the Jemalong solar farm in central New South Wales, just west of Forbes, after acquiring the development rights to the project from Vast Solar, which had hoped to build the country’s first large scale solar thermal plant, but decided to search for areas with better solar resources.
According to Global-Roam’s Paul McArdle, generation data for the Jemalong power station shows the project briefly commenced its first exports of electricity on Tuesday.
While only small and short, the first exports of electricity from the Jemalong project follows the successful energisation of the project’s transformers late last year, and indicate that full commissioning of the power station could be achieved soon.
Genex said that the project would operate on a merchant basis, at least initially, taking the wholesale price for both electricity generated and the large-scale generation certificates the project is eligible to receive.
The commencement of full generation from the Jemalong project would effectively double Genex’s revenues, with the company already operating the 50MW Kidston solar farm, providing critical cash flow for the company as it gears up to tackle much larger projects.
In a quarterly update to the ASX, Genex said Kidston delivered $2.4 million in revenue from 31,723MWh of power generated for the 3 months to 31 December 2020, a rise of three per cent.
It also said it had parted ways with UGL, which had been its Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) Contractor and Operations & Maintenance (O&M) provider. UGL paid Genex $2.5 million to settle “all outstanding matters” and Genex is currently in talks with a new O&M provider.
Genex CEO James Harding said the company was nearing final sign-off on its flagship 250MW/2,000MWh Kidston pumped hydro project.
Jemalong will become the second operating solar farm in Genex’s portfolio, following the earlier completion of the first stage of the Kidston solar farm.
“The energisation of the 50MW Jemalong Solar project marks the delivery of the second operating asset into our portfolio. The project will make a significant step change in the Company’s revenue and operational cashflow commencing this year,” Harding said.
“The development of the Jemalong project which, as was the case with Genex’s KS1 project, was energised on time and on budget, represents a major success for the Company especially given the present operating environment.”
“The Bouldercombe Battery Project continues to make good progress, and the development of the project will further diversify our portfolio of renewable energy generation and storage assets,” Harding added.
The company also expects to commence construction of its first wind farm, a 150MW project that will also serve as part of the Kidston development. Genex secured a $1.5 million investment from Japanese utility J-Power to help fund development work on the wind project.