While it continues to work on its flagship Kidston project, Genex Power has completed the acquisition of a utility-scale solar farm in New South Wales. The developer decided to expand its generation portfolio with a purchase of the 50 MW Jemalong solar project last September on the back of a considerable inflow of revenues from its 50 MW Kidston Solar Project.
The solar farm sits alongside an operational 1.1 MW concentrated solar thermal power pilot plant deployed by Australian CSP specialist Vast Solar. The $23.7 million project was billed as the world’s first modular CSP facility using sodium as a heat transfer fluid when switched on in January 2017.
Noting that the critical elements are now in place, including Generator Performance Standards (GPS) approval from the Australian Electricity Market Operator (AEMO) and a firm Offer to Connect from network service provider Essential Energy, Genex Power now aims to rapidly complete the development and financing of the project that is slated to start construction mid 2019.
“We believe the addition of JSP provides an excellent opportunity to diversify Genex’s generation portfolio geographically whilst achieving exposure to the strong electricity spot prices in NSW,” James Harding, CEO of Genex Power, said in a statement.
Financing for the Jamelong plant is currently underway with a number of banks indicating strong interest to provide construction finance to the project, the developer said, noting that this will coincide with refinancing of the 50 MW Kidston stage 1 solar plant in the middle of 2019.
“The accelerated development timeline and the short construction period will allow Genex to achieve a step-up in revenue earnings whilst the construction of the Kidston Stage 2 projects proceeds,” Harding said.
The Stage 2 projects include a 250 MW pumped storage hydro project and a multi-staged integrated solar project of up to 270 MW under development. The facility also comprises the operating 50 MW Stage 1 solar project and a Stage 3 wind project of up to 150 MW if proven feasible.
The Kidston renewable energy hub, which will be located at a remote site that was once Australia’s largest gold mine, will use the existing pits at the location to provide around eight hours of storage for solar generated power.