Genex buys Queensland solar + storage project with 2 GW of development rights


Just a week after Genex Power rejected a takeover bid from a consortium led by Australian billionaire Scott Farquhar, co-founder and co-CEO of software company Atlassian, the company has announced its acquisition of the Bulli Creek solar + storage project in southeast Queensland, about 100 km south west of Toowoomba.

The 100% acquisition, Genex says, is part of its strategy to grow its portfolio of storage assets – which already includes the Kidston Pumped Hydro Storage Project being developed in the mid-north of Queensland as well as the 50 MW / 100 MWh Bouldercombe Battery, it the state’s mid coast.

This particular focus has been expedited by Australia’s recent market conditions. “The events in the National Electricity Market (NEM) in recent months have only highlighted the urgent need for dispatchable energy storage capacity to manage the transition to a net-zero economy,” Genex said in its ASX statement about the acquisition.

Bulli Creek project map

Image: Solar Choice

The company is targeting a final investment decision (FID) on the Bulli Creek project by the second half of 2024. 

The development rights for Bulli Creek extend to 2 GW of capacity, with Genex noting the project’s planning, environmental and heritage approvals have already been secured by previous developer Solar Choice.

Of its five stage approach to development, the first stage includes the battery with stage two involving the roll out of between 475 MW to 675 MW of solar PV.

The subsequent stages, it added, would involve additional solar deployments until the entire 5,000 hectare site in used.

Genex purchased the project from Solar Choice, which had been developing Bulli Creek since 2013. The project piqued its interest, the company said, because of its premium location just four kilometres from Queensland network Powerlink’s Bulli Creek 330kV substation, a connection point for the Queensland to New South Wales interconnector. The network strength and projected marginal loss factors also played a role.

Genex is already in “advanced discussions” with potential joint development partners, it said, “which will including providing a significant contribution to the external development costs and equity funding of the capital expenditures.”

The company says its ongoing development of the Bouldercombe Battery has enabled this network, which has already seen Genex link with Tesla.

Genex takeover play

The project acquisition follows an eventful few weeks for the company, which was subject to an unsolicited takeover bid of more than $300 million from a consortium of private equity firms led by Australian technology billionaire Scott Farquhar’s Skip Capital.

Genex confirmed that Skip Capital, through its Skip Essential Infrastructure Fund, has already built up a 19.99% stake in the renewable energy company after a series of transactions completed in July.

The takeover offer came just hours before Genex revealed it had achieved record revenue last financial year totalling more than $26 million. 

Genex is also developing the massive Kidston Renewable Energy Hub in north Queensland.

Image: Genex

Genex has Australian portfolio of “more than $1 billion of renewable energy generation and storage projects.” Among those assets is the 50 MW Jemalong Solar Farm in New South Wales, as well as the 50 MW Kidston Solar Farm – consistently one of Australia’s best performing solar farms.

Kidston is, of course, linked to Genex’s Kidston Clean Energy Hub – which has the 250 MW / 2,000 MWh pumped hydro facility as its centrepiece. Genex is proposing up to 270 MW of additional solar and up to 150 MW of wind generation for the site.

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