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Genex Power has revealed plans for a big battery project in Central Queensland, with construction planned to begin next year.

The 50MW/75MWh Como battery storage project will be built near Rockhamption and is expected to cost around $50 million to bring online.

Genex Power is also continuing to advance its Kidston pumped hydro project south-west of Cairns, with an expected cost of $700 million.

“This battery project is very consistent with our strategy of being Australia’s leading renewable energy company and energy storage company, across technologies,” executive director Simon Kidston said.

“We’ll have pump storage hydro, we’ll have batteries on the storage side. On the generation side we’ll have wind and solar and also pump storage hydro. It’s a very exciting time actually delivering these projects into the grid.”

Mr Kidston said the company had identified a Rockhampton site for the lithium ion battery project adjacent to a Powerlink substation.

“Where we are with that project is we’re in the market at the moment getting pricing from suppliers and, in parallel with that, doing the connection process and permitting,” he said.

“We’ll look to get that project financed and in construction next year with the intention of having it operating by the end of next calendar year.”

Genex Power already operates a 50MW solar farm at Kidston, where it plans to use two mining voids from a former gold operation for its 250MW pumped storage hydro project.

A 150MW wind project and a solar farm expansion up to 270MW are also proposed for that site.

And construction is underway on Genex Power’s 50MW Jemalong solar farm near Forbes in New South Wales.

The Como big battery project would operate on an arbitage/FCAS (Frequency Control Ancillary Services) revenue model – charging from the grid at off-peak times and discharging at other times, such as during the evening peak.

The plan was unveiled in a presentation to investors yesterday, along with news that Genex Power had signed a new $25 million agreement with J-Power to help finance the Kidston hydro project.

Genex chief executive officer James Harding said the signing of the agreement helped cement the company’s relationship with J-Power as a long-term partner to finance and provide technical assistance for the construction of the project.

“The investment by J-Power secures the funding required for Genex’s equity component of the project,” Mr Harding said.

“The balance of the equity funding is to be secured via the project equity investor process, which is in the final stages as we continue to finalise the project financing arrangements with all our stakeholders.

“We will continue to keep the market informed of developments as we progress toward financial close, which is targeted for September 2020.”