Kidston's Pumped Storage Hydro Project will be the first hydropower facility to use an abandoned mine.
The 250MW fixed speed reversible Francis turbines will be Australia's first hydro storage project in more than 40 years. Once finished the facility will be Australia's third largest electricity storage facility.
Construction began in January 2022 and is being overseen by Genex Power a renewable energy, generation and storage company based in Australia. The project will form an integral part of Genex's Kidston Clean Energy Hub which will see solar, wind and hydroelectric generation being developed in addition to the storage hub.
The storage facility will have capacity to store 1,870 MWh of electricity each generation cycle.
The property is situated on the historic Kidston Gold Mine in North Queensland. The mine which operated for over 90 years was closed in 2001.
The pumped storage hydro project will use Wises pit, a shallow water body situated on the upper reservoir. Eldridge pit will be used as the lower reservoir as it is 320m deep and currently holds the majority of the 25 gigalitres of water located within the scheme. Wises pit will be broadened and reinforced in order to create a larger cavity dam using existing waste water rock dumps at the site. The dam will feature a high-density polyethylene liner as a cost-effective sealant.
The underground powerhouse of the project will be constructed within a 90m long cavern. It will be installed with two 125MW reversible pump Francis turbine units, two main inlet valves, two 275kV step-up transformers and two draft tube gates.
The hub will supply Australia's National Electricity Market through a new 275kV transmission line.