In a statement released on Friday, Genex Power announced the acquisition of the 50 MW Jemelong solar project in New South Wales. It also noted that it had made significant progress towards achieving financial close on its landmark solar+pumped storage hydro project in an abandoned gold mine in north Queensland.
According to Genex, the Jemelong project is well-advanced, with all necessary land and development planning approvals secured and substantial progress made towards finalizing the grid connection works.
Jemelong was purchased from Sydney-based developer Vast Solar and is located near the town of Forbes. It is sited alongside a 1.1 MW concentrated solar thermal power pilot plant, which was commissioned in January 2017.
Genex opted to expand its its project portfolio, after it had seen a considerable inflow of revenues from other solar projects.
“As a result of the strong revenues earnt to date from the company’s 50 MW Kidston Solar Project (KS1), we are able to utilize our cash reserves to diversify our project portfolio into NSW and create a stronger revenue pipeline,“ CEO of Genex Power, James Harding stated.
The company’s main focus will, however, be on fast tracking the Kidston Stage 2 projects to financial close.
The second stage of its Kidston power facility, comprising a 270 MW solar PV plant and a 250 MW of pumped storage hydro project, has already landed a hefty $516 million concessional loan from the Federal Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) fund. The potential loan, which is subject to a number of terms and conditions, would account for the bulk of the project’s debt funding.
While it says the majority of the construction funding for the Kidston Stage 2 projects will be provided via project finance debt, similar to the 50 MW Kidston Stage 1 project, Genex is now also considering a range of funding options to fund the balance (including a sell down in project-level interest).
“The Kidston Stage Two Pumped Storage Hydro and Solar Project remains the principal focus of the company, and we continue to make significant progress towards finalizing the remaining components necessary to achieve financial close,“ Harding says.
“The Jemalong Solar Project offers a good opportunity to create a step change up in revenue and both expand and diversify the Company’s portfolio as we complete the development of Stage 2 at Kidston.“
Given the Jemelong project’s advanced status, Genex anticipates reaching financial close in H1 2019, following the completion of the Kidston Stage 2 project financing that remains the top priority.