The power generation company will receive a A$610 million ($471.16 million) loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for the 250-MW Kidston project, which is being built at an abandoned gold mine in Queensland.
Australia’s renewable energy agency will give A$47 million in grant, while government-owned green bank the Clean Energy Finance Corp will provide a further A$3 million of subordinated debt funding.
The project, which could become a template for similar projects in abandoned mines and dams all over Australia, had been left in the lurch since November 2019, when funding fell through as it could not sign a power sale agreement for the plant.
In March last year, EnergyAustralia, a unit of Hong Kong’s CLP Holdings and Australia’s third-largest energy retailer, signed an agreement to buy power from the project.
A series of funding agreements followed with a range of sources, including Japan’s Electric Power, the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, the Queensland government, Australia’s renewable energy agency, and an underwritten capital raising.
Pumped hydro acts like a giant battery, pumping water uphill when energy is abundant and releasing it to create power at night or on a windless day.