Kid­ston project in NAIF sights

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON GE­OF­FREY KNIGHT

A LARGE- scale North Queens­land so­lar power project has been re­vealed as a fron­trun­ner to re­ceive a con­ces­sional loan from the $ 5 bil­lion North­ern Aus­tralia In­fra­struc­ture Fa­cil­ity.

Genex Power Lim­ited has re­ceived ap­proval from NAIF to pro­ceed to the full due dili­gence phase for its Stage 2 so­lar and hy­dro pumped stor­age projects at Kid­ston, about 380km west of Townsville.

It comes less than a month af­ter the project was granted “crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture” sta­tus by the State Gov­ern­ment in a bid to cut red tape.

Genex man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Michael Ad­di­son said the NAIF ap­proval was a “big tick” for the project.

“Genex wel­comes this de­ci­sion from NAIF as it views NAIF as an in­te­gral part­ner in the Stage 2 project fi­nanc­ing,” Mr Ad­di­son said.

“It’s very crit­i­cal to our project. It would be more chal­leng­ing if we had to pro­ceed with­out it.”

The cost of the so­lar project’s sec­ond state is about $ 420 mil­lion, with the hy­dro project to cost $ 330 mil­lion.

It is un­der­stood NAIF would pro­vide Genex with be- tween $ 200 mil­lion and $ 300 mil­lion.

The State Gov­ern­ment last month an­nounced it would in­vest $ 150 mil­lion to de­velop a 275kV trans­mis­sion line in North Queens­land, which would in­clude link­ing Genex’s Stage 2 projects to the Pow­er­link net­work.

NAIF chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Lau­rie Walker said the board was look­ing for­ward to work­ing with Genex on the full due dili­gence phase.

“NAIF is keen to sup­port in­fra­struc­ture projects across North­ern Aus­tralia that will gen­er­ate pub­lic ben­e­fit and eco­nomic and pop­u­la­tion growth in North­ern Aus­tralia, such as this in the re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor,” she said.

Genex is aim­ing to start con­struc­tion on its 270MW so­lar and 250MW hy­dro projects at Kid­ston in 2018.

A NAIF spokes­woman said she was un­able to com­ment on the sta­tus of Adani’s $ 900 mil­lion loan ap­pli­ca­tion for its rail line, which would link the Galilee Basin to the Ab­bot Point coal port, due to com­mer­cial in con­fi­dence reg­u­la­tions. T OWNSVI L L E ’ S n e w e s t real es­tate de­vel­op­ment has launched an en­ergy- sav­ing ini­tia­tive that is set to dra­mat­i­cally re­duce on­go­ing en­ergy costs to home buy­ers, sav­ing them thou­sands.

Maid­ment De­vel­op­ment Group, the de­vel­oper be­hind the brand new es­tate Har­ris Cross­ing on the banks of the Bohle River at Bohle Plains, is of­fer­ing home buy­ers the op­tion to in­stall a Tesla Pow­er­wall 2 Home Bat­tery Sys­tem for a frac­tion of the nor­mal re­tail price.

“Of­fer­ing the Tesla Pow­er­wall to res­i­dents at Har­ris Cross­ing is a first for North Queens­land and lifts the bar to a whole new level, mak­ing sure that our new home buy­ers are po­si­tioned to save tens of thou­sands of dol­lars into the fu­ture,” Maid­ment sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager Nick Ryle said.

The power stor­age sys­tem en­ables res­i­dents to cap­ture and store ex­cess so­lar en­ergy pro­duced dur­ing the day for use at night. It also al­lows the use of so­lar- gen­er­ated elec­tric­ity dur­ing a util­ity out­age.

“Home­own­ers will be able to take con­trol of their own en­ergy be­hav­iour, un­der­stand­ing the how, when and why of pow­er­ing their own home,” Mr Ryle said.

He said ad­vances in bat­tery tech­nol­ogy meant users could also make the most of us­ing an elec­tric car, with a BMW i3 on dis­play at Har­ris Cross­ing and recharged from the sales of­fice.

“For a frac­tion of the price, you can recharge your car while you sleep,” he said.

Mr Ryle said res­i­dents could also turn so­lar en­ergy into a rev­enue raiser by ex­port­ing ex­cess en­ergy back to the grid or po­ten­tially re­dis­tribut­ing power to other users in the area.

Michael Ad­di­son.

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