The Genex Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro), Queensland’s first pumped hydro project in nearly 40 years, is reaching financial close.
The state government’s $147 million investment will create over 900 construction jobs in North Queensland upon connecting the K2-Hydro to households and businesses.
Achieving financial close will confirm the status of Queensland’s nation-leading renewable energy credentials, according to treasurer and minister for Investment Cameron Dick.
“As part of our Economic Recovery Strategy to grow the renewable energy sector and the jobs that come with it, the Queensland government has played a crucial role in getting the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project over the line,” he said.
“This decision will further secure our strong renewables future in North Queensland and will unlock hundreds of renewables jobs.
“Beyond Kidston, the transmission infrastructure we are delivering has the potential to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of new renewable investment in the north. As a government we are focused on driving investment, creating jobs and growth and lowering electricity prices for Queensland households and businesses.”
The 250-megawatt project will aid in securing the future of the region’s energy system with a reliable supply of dispatchable power, according to minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni.
“As Queensland charges towards its renewable energy target, storage projects like Kidston will enable the continued investment in otherwise intermittent renewables,” de Brenni said.
“Our $147 million commitment will support publicly-owned Powerlink to build a 186km transmission line from Kidston to Mount Fox near Ingham, creating 400 jobs. Construction of the pumped hydro project will create a further 500 jobs, powering North Queensland’s economic recovery.”
The Kidston Clean Energy Hub will use an abandoned gold mine 270km north-west of Townsville to integrate large-scale solar and pumped storage hydro. The water pumped into its reservoir will store around 2,000-megawatt hours’ worth of dispatchable electricity, which can be delivered back to the energy market when needed.
The announcement marks a vital step in the delivery of large-scale energy storage capability in the National Electricity Market, according to Genex CEO James Harding.
“Financial close for the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project is a monumental achievement and one Genex has been working towards for over five years,” Harding said.
“Site preparation activities are now well progressed as we prepare for full scale construction activities over the next few months.
“I would sincerely like to thank the Queensland government for the significant funding support and continued commitment to the Kidston project.”
The Genex Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project and associated transmission infrastructure is expected to be completed and feeding into the National Electricity Market by early 2025.