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Kidston pumped storage hydro project developer Genex Power has finalised negotiations with Powerlink Queensland over the new energy hub’s connection to grid.

It says building the electricity infrastructure together with the pumped hydro project will deliver more than 800 new jobs in North Queensland.

The key deal is among the pieces falling in place as Genex drives towards its recently stated timeline of achieving financial close and commencement of construction early in the second half of 2021.

It follows last month’s news that Genex had secured an extension of its funding and technical services arrangemnet with J-Power, and the company has confirmed that it is on track to closing remaining contracts by the end of March.

The terms of the Generator Connection and Access Agreement with Powerlink provide for a total construction cost of $258 million for the hydro project’s connection infrastructure, which will be funded by way of:
• $111 million from a special purpose vehicle incorporated to own and operate the project; and
• $147 million from the Queensland Government directly to Powerlink

This will cover construction of a new 185.9km transmission line from the Kidston power hub to Mount Fox, and a new substation at Mount Fox.

Genex says the transmission line will not only enable the connection of the project to the National Electricity Market but, with significant spare capacity, will facilitate the creation of a new Renewable Energy Zone in North Queensland.

It will support the development of the proposed Kidston Stage 3 Wind Project and Kidston Stage 2 Solar Project also based around the former Kidston gold mine site in North Queensland.

Genex Power has also executed a Transmission Support Charges Deed (‘TSCD’) with Powerlink, committing it to supporting the balance of the operating costs of the connection assets while its other projects come online.

“Genex is delighted to have executed these agreements with Powerlink to connect the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project to the National Electricity Market,” Genex chief executive officer James Harding said.

“This marks the culmination of a process of close cooperation and deep engagement which commenced four years ago, and which has resulted in an innovative commercial arrangement which will support not only our flagship pumped hydro project, but the broader Kidston Clean Energy Hub including the Kidston Stage 3 Wind Project and the Kidston Stage 2 Solar Project.

“We would like to thank the Queensland Government for their support and we look forward to working together to deliver this exciting new piece of electricity infrastructure which, together with the pumped hydro project, will deliver over 800 new jobs in North Queensland.”

Powerlink deal a key step towards hydro start