Genex Power has announced a significant funding deal aimed at advancing its flagship pumped hydro project at Kidston in Far North Queensland and accelerating the development of the Bulli Creek solar and battery project, which has a capacity of up to 2GW, Renew Economy has reported.

The funding package, amounting to $44.5 million, was unveiled on 7 July in collaboration with J-Power, a Japanese utilities giant that has been working with Genex on the Kidston Clean Energy Hub since 2020. J-Power had previously committed $25 million for the K2-Hydro project.

This time, J-Power has agreed to provide a loan facility of $35 million as an additional standby source of funding for the pumped hydro project, which features a storage capacity of 250MW and eight hours (2,000MWh) of storage. The purpose of this funding is to ensure that the project stays on track for energization by 2024.

Although the hope is that the standby funds will not be required, Genex has expressed the need for a "significant buffer" following a drilling incident in September 2022, which caused a water ingress and resulted in modest delays to the project. Genex CEO James Harding stated that while the costs of the incident had been covered, it was essential to secure additional funding against any unforeseen events that may occur during the remainder of the construction program.

In addition to the loan facility, J-Power will establish a joint development fund for Genex's Bulli Creek project, which comprises up to 2GW of battery storage and solar capacity in Queensland's Toowoomba region. The initial plan is to construct a 400MW battery with two hours of storage. Under the joint development agreement, J-Power will acquire a 50% interest in Bulli Creek through upfront acquisition funding of $2.5 million. An additional $6 million will be provided for third-party development costs, along with $1 million to cover early project expenses. Ongoing third-party development costs will be shared equally between both companies, extending the strategic partnership established during the co-development of the 258MW Kidston Stage 3 wind project.

The loan facility and joint development agreement are secured against Genex's equity interests in Bulli Creek and the Kidston wind farm. Genex CEO James Harding emphasized that this funding would play a vital role in expanding the company's renewable energy portfolio in Australia. He also noted that the loan facility would provide a significant buffer for completing the Kidston pumped hydro project, while the joint development agreement for the Bulli Creek project would expedite development activities and signify the next phase of the company's growth.