Genex reaches construction milestone on 2 GWh pumped hydro project


Sydney-based developer Genex Power said construction of the 250 MW/2 GWh Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project being developed in far north Queensland is progressing at pace with the underground construction works expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The pumped hydro storage facility being developed in the abandoned Kidston gold mine, about 380 kilometres west of Townsville, is part of the $777 million (USD 500 million) Kidston Clean Energy Hub that includes an already operational 50 MW solar farm and 258 MW of wind power.

The pumped hydro facility will provide up to eight hours of continuous energy for the grid. It is expected to be energised in the second half of 2024 and come online in 2025.

EnergyAustralia has already entered an off-take agreement with Genex to utilise the deep storage capacity, most likely at the end and start of each day when renewable energy output is at its lowest.

Genex said the roof of the powerhouse cavern, located 250m below the surface, is now on. Once completed, the cavern will be 80m long, 18m wide and 45m high. It will house two reversible turbines capable of generating 250 MW of rapid response renewable energy.

The Kidston project is Australia’s first privately developed pumped hydro project.

Image: Genex Power

Construction of the upper and lower reservoirs, being developed in existing mining pits, and electrical infrastructure are also well underway.

“We’re already past the halfway mark,” Genex said, noting that the project “is creating significant work opportunities, boosting the supply chain, and fostering manufacturing prosperity.”

Queensland Energy Minister Mick de Brenni said the clean energy hub is contributing to the creation of 900 direct jobs, and will help the state achieve its renewable energy targets of 70% by 2032 and 80% by 2035.

“Once operational, Kidston pumped hydro will generate enough energy to power towns the size of Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton for eight hours each and every day,” he said. “I’m incredibly excited about unlocking the power of north Queensland, and this milestone shows how close we are to achieving the renewable future promised by the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.”

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