Work begins to connect Kidston Clean Energy Hub to network

Construction team connecting Kidston Clean Energy Hub to Powerlink's network positioned in front of heavy plant
Construction team connecting Kidston Clean Energy Hub to Powerlink's network

Construction has started on a $295 million project to connect Genex Power’s landmark Kidston Clean Energy Hub to Powerlink’s transmission network.

Powerlink has started work to deliver 186km of new transmission line for the Kidston Clean Energy Hub and construct two new switching stations at Mount Fox and Kidston.

Related article: J-POWER and Genex collaborate on Kidston Wind Project

In a first for a transmission business in Australia, Powerlink sought the advice of the Gugu Badhun Aboriginal Corporation (GBAC) to nominate a name for the proposed switching station at Mount Fox. They selected the name Guybal Munjan Switching Station, which means ‘fire mountain’ in local language.

Powerlink CEO Paul Simshauser said the Genex Kidston Connection Project marked the largest package of transmission construction works Powerlink had undertaken in eight years. 

“Off the back of the release of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, this project is set to support around 400 jobs and signals a further step towards Queensland achieving its new renewable energy target of 70 per cent by 2032,” Simshauser said.

“The start of construction follows comprehensive studies and engagement with landholders, the community and other stakeholders over a period of more than six years.

“We’re building nearly 350 transmission towers along this stretch of line, utilising 5,500 tonnes of galvanised steel. Our first phase of construction will include upgrading existing access tracks, establishing vehicle wash down bays and preparation of the transmission tower pads.” 

Simshauser said to complete a range of preliminary project works, Powerlink had partnered with more than 20 local suppliers based in Ingham, Charters Towers, Townsville and Cairns to deliver contracts valued at nearly $14 million. 

“It goes without saying that solid planning and engagement paves the way for the successful delivery of large-scale projects like this. We remain committed to proactively engaging with landholders, the community and other stakeholders throughout construction, with project commissioning expected in April 2024.”

Genex CEO James Harding said the Kidston Pumped Storage Project was Genex’s flagship project and the first of its kind to be developed in Australia in more than 40 years. 

Related article: Powerlink debuts tallest ever transmission towers

“Genex and Powerlink have been working together since 2016 to facilitate the connection of this landmark project to the national electricity grid, which is now being realised through the development of the new high voltage transmission line between the Aurumfield Switching Station at Kidston and the Guybal Munjan™ Switching Station at Mount Fox,” Harding said.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with Powerlink throughout the construction phase and look forward to energisation of the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project, expected in the second half of 2024.”

Previous articleReNu Energy completes $4.5m capital raise
Next articleAustralia’s first renewable hydrogen microgrid underway