Genex Power has secured a development approval (DA) from the Etheridge Shire Council (ESC) for its 250MW Kidston pumped storage hydro project (K2-Hydro) in North Queensland, Australia.

ARENA pumped hydro

Image: In November 2017, ARENA offered funding for the pumped hydro and solar hybrid project in Australia. Photo: Courtesy of Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Genex said that the approval process involved referrals to several State Government entities, including the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) for the approval of the Wises Dam structure.

The DA is considered to be a major ahead to commence construction on the project in 2019.

Genex CEO James Harding said: “The DA is one of the last remaining milestones in the K2-Hydro permitting process which is required prior to financial close and then construction.

“The receipt of the DA is the culmination of a lot of effort and coordination between Genex and the Etheridge Shire Council over a long period of time and we would like to sincerely acknowledge and thank the Council for their efforts.

“At the same time we would like to acknowledge the strong support of the Office of the Coordinator General and the Queensland Government in helping us to complete the approvals process.”

In October 2017, Genex selected a joint venture between McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty and Downer EDI as preferred EPC contractor for its Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro project.

The Kidston Stage 2 project, which also include a 270MW solar project (K2 Solar), was offered a funding of up to $5m by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in November last year.

Under the terms of the funding agreement, the funding will be used towards specified pre-financial close activities of the project.

The hybrid project is expected to generate about 783GWh of renewable electricity each year, which is enough to power 140,000 Australian households.

This project is located 270km north west of Townsville and will use two existing gold mining pits as the reservoirs for the project to minimise construction time and costs.

Recently, Genex has selected power and water consulting firm Entura to deliver owner’s engineer services for the Kidston Stage 2 projects in Australia.