Construction To Commence on Queensland’s Kennedy Energy Park

Kennedy Energy Park - Queensland

Image: Windlab

Construction is set to begin on the $160 million Kennedy Energy Park; the first large scale solar power, wind and battery hybrid project to be connected to the grid in Australia.

Windlab Limited announced yesterday the project has reached financial close after securing financing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Kennedy Energy Park will consist of 43.2MW wind and 15MW AC of solar power capacity, plus 4MWh of lithium-ion battery storage to be supplied by Tesla. It’s expected the facility will generate 210,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually, enough to supply more than 35,000 average Australian homes.

Another first connected with the project is the use of Vestas V136 3.6MW turbines, which Windlab says will be the largest wind turbines to be deployed in Australia.

The facility will be constructed on farmland approximately 17 km southeast of Hughenden and 290 km southwest of Townsville. The site offers the best of both worlds – high levels of solar irradiance, plus as the sun is setting in the evening, the wind picks up and then continues throughout the night.

“We believe Kennedy Energy Park will demonstrate how effectively wind, solar and storage can be combined to provide low cost, reliable and clean energy for Australia’s future,” said Roger Price, Windlab’s Executive Chairman and CEO.

The project will take just over a year to construct and is expected to be fully operational before the end of next year.

The facility will be the first phase of what is intended to be a much larger project.  The second phase, “Big Kennedy”, will consist of up to 1,200MW of wind energy capacity. Mr. Price says it will play a critical role in balancing the large amounts of solar generation to be connected in Queensland.

“The fact that wind generation in Queensland is biased towards the late afternoon, evening and night makes it ideal for matching large amounts of solar generation, thereby reducing the need for storage and other peaking capacity across the network.”

The two phases combined will generate enough electricity to supply the power needs of the equivalent of 400,000 households.

ARENA will provide an $18 million recoupable grant for Phase I of the project, while the CEFC will provide up to $93 million in debt finance.

“By integrating wind, solar and batteries, this will be able to provide reliable and dispatchable electricity to North Queensland,” said ARENA Chief Executive Officer Ivor Frischknecht. “This project will now also help improve the stability and reliability of the network in North Queensland.”

All the electricity generated by Phase I of Kennedy Energy Park will be purchased by CS Energy under a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. This is totally awesome!

    A three in one solar, wind & battery farm

    Does this count as dispatchable renewables???

  2. Ronald Brakels says

    If 58.2 megawatts of wind and solar capacity produce 210,000 megawatt-hours of electricity a year it will have a capacity factor of 41%, which is extremely high.

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