Queensland’s pumped hydro project begins its construction
Genex Power has begun the construction of the Kidston pumped hydro project, marking the beginning of stronger energy security for Queensland.
The hydro project, backed by a $610 million loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), is undergoing construction 270 km northwest of Townsville.
The project is expected to deliver eight hours of energy storage daily once it starts operating in 2024. It will also support more than 500 jobs during its construction phase.
“I congratulate Genex Power for today’s milestone, which marks the start of a mini-boom in construction jobs for north Queensland,” Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said.
“The project will transform the old Kidston gold mine into a major energy storage project which will help stabilise energy supplies in Queensland and keep energy prices as low as possible.”
Aside from the NAIF loan, the hydro project has also received a $47 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Kidston pumped hydro project is critically important for large manufacturers and C&I customers in regional Queensland as it provides the opportunity to drive affordable, reliable power for households and businesses.
Assistant Minister for Northern Australia Michelle Landry also revealed that the project will create lots of jobs and opportunities for businesses across North Queensland.
“Today is a fantastic day for north Queensland, with work officially starting on the Kidston project which will create more opportunities for people and industries in northern Australia,” Townsville-based Queensland Senator Susan McDonald, who was at the project’s sod-turning event, said.
“The Kidston Project is the NAIF’s biggest investment so far, and underlines the Australian Government commitment for NAIF to support development in northern Australia.”
The NAIF has supported projects with a total value of around $1 billion in Queensland, supporting around 3,400 jobs and returning an estimated economic benefit of more than $2.3 billion.
The Kidston pumped hydro project includes a 186-kilometre transmission line to connect the project to the national grid, which is being funded by the Queensland Government.