Genex Power has now received all its environmental approvals required to develop its $330 Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro project in Etheridge Shire
The Queensland Office of the Coordinator General has granted final approval for the project at the decommissioned Kidston Gold Mine near Einasleigh.
The Coordinator General said the project would support the target of generating half of Queensland electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030, add stability and strength to the North Queensland network, reduce the need to import excess electricity from neighbouring regions and contribute to the ARENA target and the development of a Renewable Energy Zone in Far North Queensland.
Genex Power CEO James Harding said the approval would allow the company focus on achieving financial close.
The proposal adds to an existing 50MW solar farm at Kidston with a pumped hydro development based on two decommissioned open cut gold mines, and a solar and wind section of up to 420MW.
Speaking last year after the project was fast-tracked by the Queensland government, State Development minister Cameron Dick said the project proposed an innovative use of two existing adjacent water-filled mine pits to generate hydroelectricity.
"The project could employ 370 people during the two-year construction and have a minimum lifespan of 50 years," Mr Dick said.
"When complete, Stages 1 and 2 of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub will provide enough energy to power around 160,000 Australian homes - Stage 1 alone will produce enough power to supply more than 26,000 Australian homes, offsetting 120,000 tonnes of CO2 per year."
Genex have a conditional approval for funding from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund for between , $450 million to $516 million.
They hope to have the project complete by 2021.