Queensland Pumped Hydro Energy Approved
The first in 37 years! A new pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) system is set to begin construction as Genex Power reaches a financial close on its Kidston Stage 2 PHES project.
The project, costing around $777 million will be the first pumped hydro plant to be built in Australia since 1984 and the first to be used specifically to support the integration of variable renewable energy generation from solar and wind.
This new pumped hydro energy station will be located at the former Kidston Gold Mine, the Kidston Clean Energy Hub in North Queensland. The facility will produce approximately 250 MW / 2,000 MWh of baseload power, equivalent to eight hours of energy storage.
ARENA will provide $47 million in funding towards the project. ARENA also already provided funding for feasibility and development totalling $9 million for this current pumped hydro stage, as well as initially providing $8.9 million towards Genex’s 50 MW Kidston Solar Project in 2016.
The project is also supported with $610 million in concessional debt finance from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).
Two existing mining pits at the former gold mine will be utilised as the upper and lower reservoirs for the pumped hydro energy storage to minimise construction time and costs. During peak power demand periods, water will be released from the upper to the lower reservoir, passing through reversible turbines. During off-peak periods and when the sun is abundant, water will be pumped back from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir using electricity imported from the National Electricity Market (NEM).
Construction is expected to be completed by 2024. The project is expected to generate 500 construction jobs and a further 20 ongoing operation roles.
“On behalf of ARENA, I’d like to congratulate Genex on reaching financial close on a project that has been many years in the making.
”The Kidston PHES project will supply dispatchable, renewable energy to the grid when and where it is needed and provide a blueprint for how we store excess solar and wind energy at scale.
“Projects like this play a significant role in progressing Australia’s energy transition. Storage solutions such as pumped hydro and large scale batteries are a key part in providing back up power and grid stability as highlighted in the Australian Government’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement, ” said ARENA CEO Darren Miller.
Thursday 20 May 2021 – Media Release
Read the Media Release here.
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