More than 900 construction jobs will be created in North Queensland with the state’s first pumped hydro storage project in almost forty years reaching financial close.
The Palaszczuk Government will invest $147 million to connect Genex’s Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro) to Queensland households and businesses.
Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick said Genex achieving financial close confirmed the status of Queensland’s nation-leading renewable energy credentials.
“As part of our Economic Recovery Strategy to grow the renewable energy sector and the jobs that come with it, the Palaszczuk Government has played a crucial role in getting the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project over the line,” the Treasurer 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.”
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the 250-megawatt project will help secure the future of North Queensland’s energy system with a reliable supply of dispatchable power.
“As Queensland charges towards its renewable energy target, storage projects like Kidston will enable the continued investment in otherwise intermittent renewables,” Mr de Brenni said.
“Our $147 million commitment will support publicly-owned Powerlink to build a 186-kilometre 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 integrate large-scale solar and pumped storage hydro using an abandoned gold mine 270 kilometres north-west of Townsville.
Water pumped into its reservoir will store approximately 2000-megawatt hours’ worth of dispatchable electricity that can be delivered back to the electricity market when needed.
Genex CEO James Harding said the announcement marks an important step in the roll out of large-scale energy storage capability in the National Electricity Market.
“Financial close for the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project is a monumental achievement and one Genex has been working towards for over five years,” Mr 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 Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project and its associated transmission infrastructure is expected to be completed and feeding into the National Electricity Market by early 2025.