Kidston pumped hydro project to create 500 jobs and reliable electricity
The Genex Kidston pumped hydro project is set to create over 500 construction jobs and deliver affordable, reliable electricity for north Queensland, thanks to the support of the Liberal National Government through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Genex Power Ltd has announced the project has reached a key funding milestone when the NAIF’s loan reached a contractual close. The pumped hydro project has closed on a $610 million loan through NAIF. It will also receive a $47 million grant from ARENA.
Expected to be completed by 2024, the project will repurpose the old Kidston gold mine to a 250 MW / 2000 MWh pumped hydropower station, which will deliver eight hours of energy storage.
“The Kidston pumped hydro project will create around 500 jobs in north Queensland during the construction phase and will help secure long-term and affordable electricity supplies to help the region grow further over the next 50 years,” Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said.
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the reliable pumped hydro project will be critically important for large manufacturers and C&I customers in regional Queensland. With the project, they can rely on it to grow their business and employ more Australians.
Assistant Minister for Northern Australia Michelle Landry said the project underlined the Government’s commitment for NAIF to support jobs, development and opportunities in northern Australia.
“We know in the north we pay more for power than almost anywhere else in the country, so anything that puts downward pressure on prices is a good thing,” Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said.
Townsville-based Senator, Susan McDonald, said recent changes to NAIF’s lending criteria had made it easier for job-creating projects to be built in North Queensland.
The pumped hydro project includes a 186-kilometre transmission line to connect the project to the national grid. This grid is currently being funded by the Queensland Government.