Sunshine Hydro signs 20% First Nations equity deal on flagship Queensland project


Sunshine Hydro, an Queensland company proposing to couple pumped hydro projects with green hydrogen production, has announced a 20% equity option deal with First Nations Greentime Energy Group relating to its Djandori Gung-i Superhybrid project.

The deal was first proposed by Tony and Ash Martens, founders of Australian Training Works Group, an awarded First Nations business which has been working on Genex’s Kidston pumped hydro project in far north Queensland. Presumably because these two projects are founded on a pumped hydro cornerstone, Tony and Ash Martens approached Sunshine Hydro proposing to acquire an equity stake in the Djandori Gung-i Superhybrid project.

“The Sunshine Hydro Board embraced the initiative and First Nations Greentime Energy Group (FNGEG) was established to hold an option agreement for 20% shareholding of the project,” the company said in a LinkedIn article.

“While Indigenous ownership of renewable energy projects is commonplace in Canada, where typically 20% of the clean energy developments are owned by First Nations people, in Australia such arrangement is trailblazing,” it added.

Queensland’s Djandori Gung-i project

The project, which is being developed by Sunshine Hydro and partner Energy Estate, was unveiled in 2022 and originally called Flavian. It was then renamed in Gurang language as Djandori Gung-i, meaning “Spirit in the Water.”

Located in central Queensland’s Miriam Vale, the project is seeking to create a pumped hydro project with upper and lower water storage governed by its automated AESOP, Advanced Energy storage Optimising Program, technology. The AESOP technology “automates the pumped hydro system, deciding when to pump the water to the high reservoir, release water to the lower reservoir and what mix of the energy produced is provided to the grid or used to produce other energy project, such as hydrogen,” the company says.

Interesting, Sunshine Hydro is pursuing green or e-methanol production, a more novel green hydrogen derivative than, for example, ammonia.

Sunshine Hydro is currently midway through its $500,000 crowdfunding exercise through platform Birchal.

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