Genex boosts capacity of Kidston clean energy project


Genex Power has confirmed that the wind component of the Kidston Clean Energy Hub being developed in northern Queensland will be expanded from 200 MW to up to 258 MW, adding to the existing 50 MW solar farm and the 250 MW/2 GWh pumped hydro energy storage facility which is currently being constructed. An additional 270 MW of solar has also been proposed.

Sydney-based Genex and joint development partner J-Power said the decision to increase the size of the wind farm followed a study of its options and came as the developers announced China-based supplier Goldwind would provide the turbines for the project being developed at an old gold mine site about 270 kilometres northwest of Townsville.

“We are … delighted to announce an increase in capacity of the project from up to 200 MW to up to 258 MW,” Genex Chief Executive Officer James Harding said in a statement. “Our Kidston stage 3 wind project is the final piece of our flagship Kidston Clean Energy Hub which will comprise of solar, hydro and wind generation.”

The Kidston Clean Energy Hub includes a 50 MW solar farm which has been operating since 2017.

Image: Fulcrum 3D

The planned wind farm will connect into the new transmission line being constructed by Powerlink for the 250MW, eight-hour pumped hydro facility which is expected to be energised in 2024, ahead of the completion of the wind project.

Queensland transmission network service provider Powerlink has already started work to deliver 186 kilometres of new high voltage transmission line and construct two new switching stations at Mount Fox and Kidston to facilitate the connection of the clean energy hub to the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Powerlink Chief Executive Paul Simshauser said the Genex Kidston Connection Project marked the largest package of transmission construction works the state-owned transmission network service provider had undertaken in eight years.

“We’re building nearly 350 transmission towers along this stretch of line, utilising 5,500 tonnes of galvanised steel,” he said. “Our first phase of construction will include upgrading existing access tracks, establishing vehicle wash-down bays and preparation of the transmission tower pads.”

Powerlink has commenced works on the new 275 kV transmission line that will connect the Kidston Clean Energy Hub to the grid.

Image: Powerlink

It is expected the connection project will support about 400 jobs while Powerlink said to complete preliminary project works it had partnered with more than 20 local suppliers to deliver contracts valued at nearly $14 million.

“It goes without saying that solid planning and engagement paves the way for the successful delivery of large-scale projects like this,” Simshauser said.

It is anticipated the Genex Kidston Connection Project will undergo commissioning in April 2024.

Genex Chief Executive Officer James Harding said the Kidston Pumped Storage Project was Genex’s flagship project and the first of its kind to be developed in Australia in more than 40 years.

“Genex and Powerlink have been working together since 2016 to facilitate the connection of this landmark project to the national electricity grid,” Harding said.  “We look forward to continuing to work closely with Powerlink throughout the construction phase and look forward to energisation of the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project, expected in the second half of 2024.”

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