Genex gets green light to develop Kidston Stage 2 solar project

Touted as the world’s first large-scale project to use pumped hydro to store solar generated power, the Kidston facility is poised to have its second solar farm developed.

According to Sydney-based publicly listed Genex Power, the K2-Solar project has received the development approval from the Etheridge Shire Council, involving a maximum of 270MW.

The company is advancing towards closing EPC contracts with UGL for K2-Solar and with McConnell Dowell/John Holland Joint Venture for K2-Hydro, which has already selected Austrian engineering group Andritz as the preferred electromechanical equipment supplier.

The EPC contracts are expected to be finalized by the end of June, while the negotiations on finance are underway.

“After several months of detailed market engagement, we are now in negotiations in regards to securing debt funding for our Kidston Stage 2 projects with a select group of partners. Genex’s main focus remains on progressing the Kidston Stage 2 projects to financial close in calendar year 2018,“ said Michael Addison, Managing Director of Genex Power.

As announced by the company, the construction of K2-Solar is likely to take place in stages in order to match energy offtake and energy transfer capabilities. Meanwhile, the 50MW Stage 1 is nearly completed, with current generation at around 45MW.

Late March, Genex reported that the Kidston project Stage 1 had nearly tripled its monthly revenue since switching on in December.

Namely, it saw an increase from 3,126MWh and $481,867 in revenue from the sale of electricity into the NEM as well as from the sale of Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs), up to 9,223MWh and $1,387,269 in March only, whereas the cumulative revenue reached $3,794,528.

The 50MW solar farm, which has a 20-year PPA inked with the local government, is expected to ramp up to full capacity by July.

Overall, the Kidston energy hub, located on the site of a 100-year-old mine in Queensland, has received $8.9 million in funding from the Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Arena (ARENA) for the construction of the Stage 1 solar project, and up to $9 million in funding to support the development of K2-Solar and K2-Hydro.