Powerlink and Genex sign Kidston grid-connection deal

Genex’s pumped storage hydro project design.
Genex’s pumped storage hydro project design.

Genex Power has signed an agreement with Powerlink to progress connection of stage two of the Kidston Hydro-Solar Project to the grid.

The $1.05 billion project, located at the disused Kidston gold mine in north Queensland, includes a 1500MWh hydro storage plant with the potential to power 100,000 homes, as well as a 50MW solar farm.

The project was given critical infrastructure status in June.

Stage two comprises the 250MW Kidston Pumped Hydro Project and the 270MW Kidston Solar Project. Stage one of the project involves a 50MW solar farm that is currently under construction.

The Heads of Agreement signed on Friday will see government-owned Powerlink commence a detailed program of works, including a targeted environmental study on the Mount Fox-Kidston Corridor, transmission line design works and development of the easement acquisition process.

Genex’s Managing Director Michael Addison said he was pleased to have finalised this vital element of the project.

“This early works program to progress the design and easement acquisition process of the transmission path is key to connecting our project to the national electricity grid,” Mr Addison said.

“We maintain an excellent relationship with Powerlink and are delighted to be working with them towards meeting our power transmission requirements.” 

Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke said the agreement was a significant milestone in the delivery of one of Queensland’s largest renewable projects.

“Stage one involves approximately 100 construction jobs and in total, both stages will support up to 500 construction jobs and 18 operational positions when online,” she said.

Treasurer and Acting Energy Minister Curtis Pitt said the announcement highlighted the government’s commitment to generate 50 per cent of Queensland’s electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030.

“The Kidston Hydro-Solar project is a key part of the clean energy boom occurring in Queensland and proof the Palaszczuk Labor Government is getting the policy settings for the renewable energy sector right,” Mr Pitt said.

“Our Powering North Queensland Plan, announced earlier this year, includes a $150 million investment towards the development of a strategic transmission line to support projects like Kidston through the establishment of a North Queensland Clean Energy Hub.”

Powerlink chief executive Merryn York said the signing of the agreement reinforced the important role the transmission network will play in facilitating large-scale renewable generation.

“Powerlink will play a key role in delivering a lower carbon future for Queensland as we connect renewable generation projects to our transmission network,” Ms York said.

“Powerlink has enjoyed a strong working relationship with Genex to date, and we look forward to delivering these early project works on their behalf as part of the agreement.”