The latest milestone for the $777 Kidston Pumped Hydro project has seen the first workers begin construction on Wises Dam, which will be able to deliver up to 4.5GGL of water to spin the project’s turbines.

Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni, said 120 workers had begun building Wises Dam.

The dam is a critical element of the Genex Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project – a world-first integrated solar and pumped-hydro storage project.

Mr de Brenni said the project was delivering jobs ahead of power with 120 workers on site, a further 100 workers mobilising before June, reaching a peak of 430 persons on site by the middle of 2023.

The Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project and its associated transmission infrastructure is expected to be completed and fed into the National Electricity Market by early 2025.

It is one year into the project delivery phase, and the construction of the dam marks a significant milestone as it is the largest piece of the surface construction work. The site establishment is complete and construction activities remain on track to commence generation before the end of 2024.

Genex and its partners are converting the former Kidston Gold Mine into a clean energy hub which will combine wind, solar and pumped hydro storage and make a major contribution toward the Queensland Government’s target to achieve 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

Mr de Brenni said the project will deliver cleaner, renewable energy, which means lower emissions and cheaper power for Queensland households, businesses and industry.

“The Queensland Government committed $147 million towards essential transmission infrastructure built by publicly-owned Powerlink to link Kidston to the east coast energy grid.

“Wises Dam, the project’s upper reservoir, will be able to deliver up to 4.5GL of water to spin the project’s 2x125MW turbines for up to eight hours,” Mr de Brenni said.

Resources Minister and member for Townsville, Scott Stewart, said Wises Dam construction 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,” Mr Stewart said.

Genex Power Chief Executive Officer, James Harding, said the project is the company’s flagship project and the first of its kind to be developed in Australia in more than 40 years.

“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.”


Image courtesy of Genex Power.

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