Australian firm Genex Power announced that the capacity of its proposed 330MW Kidston pumped storage hydro project in Australia could be increased to 450MW over a 5-6 hour period.
The company has selected a preferred design and is currently undertaking feasibility work for the $282m pumped storage project, which is planned to be built in Kidston Gold Mine in North Queensland.
The hydro plant is expected to help manage the introduction of more solar and wind power into the Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM).
Genex Power said has selected the "Turkey’s Nest" shallow dam design for the upper reservoir on top of the Eldridge pit north rock dump to increase the capacity of the project.
Additionally, the new design also provides the lower cost per MW option for installed capacity while presenting the reduced operating and environmental risks.
However, the firm is due to determine the final size and scale of the project which will be based on the results of a detailed market study and further design refinements.
The feasibility study, which is backed by $4m funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena), is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of the year.
Arena acting CEO Ian Kay earlier said: "This feasibility study aims to pave the way for the first new pumped hydro storage development in Australia in more than 40 years.
"The proposed plant would take advantage of the Kidston mine’s unique characteristics and the existing infrastructure at the site, minimizing its environmental footprint.
"If the case for pumped hydro storage at disused mine sites is proved, it could give abandoned mines across Australia a new lease on life. Genex has already identified nine sites with similar characteristics to Kidston that could be potential future candidates."
Image: Illustration of Kidston pumped storage hydro project in Australia. Photo: courtesy of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).