North Qld pumped hydro project to deliver affordable power

Australia’s first pumped hydro plant in 37 years is one step closer. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has committed support to Genex Power’s Kidston Stage 2 Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (PHES) project.

The project, at Kidston west of Townsville, has closed on a $610 million loan through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility NAIF. ARENA has approved up to $47 million in funding to Genex for the pumped hydro facility, which repurposes a former goldmining site.

The Kidston PHES project is a 250 MW / 2,000 MWh PHES, equivalent to eight hours of energy storage.

A 187 kilometre transmission line, supported by the Queensland Government and Genex, will connect the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub to the NEM. This transmission line will also facilitate the connection of further renewable generation projects in the region.

Construction is expected to be completed by 2024. The project will generate 500 construction jobs and a further 20 ongoing operation roles.

Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, said the pumped hydro project will be a driver of affordable, reliable power for households and businesses in Queensland.

‘The Kidston pumped hydro project will deliver regional jobs and create a long-term dispatchable supply for north Queensland,’ the Minister said.

See the ARENA announcement and the Ministers’ media release.