NewsProject Show Case

Advancing the Kidston Pumped Storage Scheme with Underground Excavation

Kidston Pumped Storage

Excavation of the powerhouse cavern roof of Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project in Far North Queensland has been completed by the McConnell Dowell and John Holland joint venture.

In order to converting a disused gold mine into a pumped storage hydroelectric power generation facility the flagship scheme of renewable energy and storage firm Genex, this hydro project is undergoing.

Conversion of the site’s two existing mine pits into upper and lower reservoirs, as well as construction of significant underground infrastructure, are the subsets of this project.

As part of this infrastructure, a large powerhouse cavern and waterway shafts and tunnels are being built, while these are due to allow the transfer of water between the reservoirs, to generate power when solar and wind generation is not available, and return water back to the upper reservoir when there is an abundance of renewable power.

In Genex’s announcement the last project landmark was that the powerhouse cavern roof has been fully excavated following continued excavation works in favorable ground conditions.

In early April 2023, digging process of the cavern 250m below ground level commenced by the engineering, procurement and construction contractor, McConnell Dowell and John Holland joint venture, whereas the main construction works to transform the former Kidston gold mine into a pumped storage hydroelectric power generation facility began in January 2022.

Construction works will now focus on rock bolting and shotcreting the wall structures before works start on the first bench excavation.

“The excavation of the construction adits and the main access tunnel continue to progress in very favorable ground conditions. Work has also been completed on the ventilation shaft. A raise bore machine – a machine used in underground mining – is now progressing with the excavation of the electrical cable shaft, the second of four vertical shafts,” said Genex.

Additionally, work on the Wises Dam is well advancing and the first section of high density polyethylene liner being placed, and excavation of the intake canal has been completed to its final level.

In order to commencement of civil earthworks, at Guybal Munjan substation installation of civil foundations and below-ground conduits is well underway.

Being located 270km north west of Townsville, the 250MW Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project is the flagship scheme of renewable energy and storage firm Genex. It will form part of a renewable energy hub that combines the hydro power with 320MW from solar and up to 258MW from wind.

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