Customer: Genex Power

Contract: Early Contractor Involvement

Location: Kidston, Queensland

Project Capabilities

Civil Electrical Mechanical Tunnelling & Underground Hydropower & Dams

Fast Facts

  • First-of-its-kind natural battery storage facility
  • 250MW of rapid response (30 seconds), renewable energy
  • 4 year design development and technical optimisation leading up to construction
  • 800 jobs to be created during construction

McConnell Dowell is to deliver the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project in Far North Queensland, an innovative project that involves the world-first conversion of a disused gold mine into a pumped storage hydroelectric power generation facility.

With delivery partners John Holland, McConnell Dowell will work on the first-of-its-kind natural battery storage facility that has the potential to generate up to 250 MW of rapid response (less than 30 seconds), flexible power to Australia’s National Electricity Market. 

The project will create 800 jobs and will be a gamechanger for the clean energy industry in Australia and worldwide as it is an entirely new approach to large-scale energy storage. The project is an important step in the move towards a more sustainable energy future.

The project is being led by Genex Power and involves the conversion of two existing mine pits into reservoirs. The technical feasibility and collaborative design development process took approximately four years. The construction involves significant underground infrastructure, including a large powerhouse cavern, and waterway shafts and tunnels to allow the transfer of water between the upper and lower reservoirs. 

Once completed, the facility will generate power during peak demand periods and return water back to the upper reservoir during off peak periods. The facility will generate enough electricity to power 143,000 homes for eight hours.

The project continues to build McConnell Dowell’s presence throughout Australia in the successful delivery of major infrastructure projects in the resources, energy and transport sectors

The Project received funding from ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency) as part of their Advancing Renewables Program. Below is a short explanitory video of the project produced by ARENA.

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