Powerlink and Genex Power Limited have inked an agreement to progress Stage 2 of the Kidston Hydro-Solar Project that combined with stage one will support up to 500 construction jobs.
The agreement will kick-start a range of key activities critical to the connection of Stage 2 to the Qld transmission network, including the development of a detailed program of works, a targeted environmental study on the Mount Fox-Kidston Corridor, transmission line design works and development of the easement acquisition process.
It also sets down a detailed timetable requiring Genex to submit to Powerlink a formal Application to Connect in Q4 2017, to be followed by negotiation of a Generator Connection and Access Agreement in accordance with Chapter 5 of the National Electricity Rules.
Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke said the agreement was a ‘significant milestone’ in the delivery of one of Queensland’s largest renewable projects.
“The huge stage two of the Kidston Hydro-Solar Project comprises the 250MW Kidston Pumped Hydro Project and the 270MW Kidston Solar Project at the site of the former Kidston Gold Mine in North Queensland,” Mr O’Rourke said.
“It follows the 50 MW Kidston stage one solar farm currently under construction, financially supported by the Palaszczuk Government’s Solar 150 program, which provides a 20 year revenue guarantee. Stage one involves approximately 100 construction jobs and in total, both stages will support up to 500 construction jobs and 18 operational positions when online.”
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the announcement follows the recent declaration of the Kidston Project (including the transmission path) as a ‘Critical Infrastructure’ project by the Queensland State Government.
“Prescribed project powers and critical infrastructure status allows Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General to employ special powers to help deliver project and ensure timely approvals,” Dr Lynham said.
“This is about supporting a project that will help deliver a reliable renewable energy source and support hundreds of jobs.”
Powerlink Chief Executive Merryn York said agreement highlighted the important role the transmission network will play in facilitating large-scale renewable generation.
“Powerlink will play a key role in delivering a lower carbon future for Queensland as we connect renewable generation projects to our transmission network,” Ms York said.
“Powerlink has enjoyed a strong working relationship with Genex to date, and we look forward to delivering these early project works on their behalf as part of the agreement.”
Genex’s Managing Director Michael Addison said he was pleased to have finalised this vital element of the project, adding that the company continues to work on a number of key funding initiatives aimed at delivering the Project in the most capital conservative manner possible.
“The proposed work on the transmission corridor is key to connecting our project to the national electricity grid,” Mr Addison said.
“We maintain an excellent relationship with Powerlink and are delighted to be working with them towards meeting our power transmission requirements.”