Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro project in QLD ramps up construction

Monica Gameng   |   May 3, 2022
Kidston Clean Energy Hub (cr: Genex Power)

The $777 million Genex Power’s Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro) is now generating the first wave of approximately 900 jobs as construction begins on the Wises Dam. 

The Wises Dam is a critical element of K2-Hydro, serving as the upper reservoir that will deliver up to 4.5 gigalitres of water to spin the two 125MW turbines for around eight hours. 

“More clean, renewable energy means lower emissions as well as cheaper power for Queensland households, businesses and industry. 

“And that’s why the Queensland Government committed $147 million towards essential transmission infrastructure built by publicly-owned Powerlink to link Kidston to the east coast energy grid,” Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said. 

In addition to the 120 strong workforce already on site, a further 100 workers will mobilise before June of this year. At peak construction, up to 430 workers are estimated to be at the project site by mid-2023. 

Works beginning on Wises Dam marks a significant step in delivering the world’s first integrated solar and pumped-hydro storage facility. 

“This is not only a world first integrated solar and hydro project, but also sets a global example for effective transformation of legacy mining sites. 

“This project will not only power homes and jobs, it will also help pave the way for more mining rehabilitation success stories across Queensland, as we work to breathe new life into old sites. 

“I thank Genex for its commitment in delivering jobs, renewable power and mine rehabilitation – especially for North Queensland,” Resources Minister and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said. 

animation-for-hydro_origProject site (source: Genex Power)

K2-Hydro is Genex Power’s flagship project at its Kidston Clean Energy Hub located in Far North Queensland. 

The project is being built at the old Kidston Gold Mine, utilising existing infrastructure such as the Wises and Eldridge pits that will serve as the upper and lower reservoirs. K2-Hydro will also use the water pipeline from Copperfield Dam to Kidston under existing pumping rights as well as the mining accommodation, solid road access and airstrip already established on site. 

The K2-Hydro project is the first of its kind to be developed in Australia on over four decades. 

“This is essentially a giant water battery which will provide 250MW of electricity generation for up to eight hours, sufficient to satisfy Townsville’s peak power demand. 

“We are now one year into the project delivery phase, and with site establishment complete and construction activities in full swing we are on track to commence generation before the end of 2024. 

“Commencement of Wises Dam construction this month marks a significant milestone for the project as this is the largest piece of surface construction work,” Genex Power Chief Executive Officer James Harding said. 

Construction on K2-Hydro is being undertaken by the McConnell Dowell and John Holland joint venture. On the other hand, CIMIC Group company UGL will undertake the delivery of the transmission line that will run between Kidston and Mt Fox as well as a switching station at Mt Fox. 

K2-Hydro along with its associated transmission infrastructure are expected to be completed and feeding into the National Electricity Grid by early 2025. 

Genex Power’s Kidston Clean Energy Hub is a combination of wind, solar and pumped hydro storage sources and once it is operational, it will make a major contribution to the State Government’s target to achieve 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030. 

Source: Queensland Government – Media Statements; Genex Power 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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