Genex Power’s Kidston Renewable Energy Hub has been fast tracked with the $330 million Kidston Pumped Hydro Storage project declared a coordinated project.
The project at the decommissioned Kidston Gold Mine near Einasleigh in Etheridge Shire, proposes an innovative use of two water-filled mine pits to generate hydroelectricity.
Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the project could employ 370 people during the two-year construction and have a minimum lifespan of 50 years.
“When complete, Stages 1 and 2 of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub will provide enough energy to power around 160,000 Australian homes,” Mr Dick said.
“Stage 1 alone will produce enough power to supply more than 26,000 Australian homes, offsetting 120,000 tonnes of CO2 per year and remove 33,000 cars off Australian roads.
Last week, Genex was given development approval by Etheridge Shire Council.'
The Minister said this declaration was the final push through the fast lane to get this important job creating project up and running.
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Anthony Lynham said the project could act as a large-scale battery storage, allowing solar energy from the adjoining solar project to be stored and harnessed as peak-load power on demand.
“The addition of hydroelectric generation in Far North Queensland will add stability to the network in the region reducing the necessity for importing excess electricity from neighbouring areas, providing a benefit to the entire network,” Dr Lynham said.
Stage 1 of Kidston is a solar power project (50 MW) which has been constructed.
Stage 2 is a proposed new solar project (270 MW) to integrate with the K2H project (250 MW) undergoing assessment.
Stage 3 is a wind farm project (150 MW) which is in the feasibility stage.
Energy generated by Stage 2 (combined solar and hydro) will be via a new transmission line connecting the Kidston site to Mount Fox, near Ingham.
CEO of Genex James Harding said he welcomed the declaration.
“Coming on the heels of the development approval announced last week, it provides further support from the Office of the Coordinator General as we finalise outstanding environmental approvals ahead of closing the financing and commencing construction in 2019,” Mr Harding said.
If approved construction is due to commence in 2019 and expected to be completed by 2021.
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