Construction of the first utility-scale wind, solar and storage hybrid generator connected to the national electricity network is set to start today in North West Queensland, Australia.
The ground-breaking ceremony will mark the start of work on the innovative $120 million (AU$160 million) Kennedy Energy Park developed by Windlab Limited – Australia’s international wind energy company.
The Kennedy Energy Park will be located on sparsely timbered farm land approximately 17 km southeast of the township of Hughenden and 290 km southwest of Townsville.
The Park will connect into the Cape River to Hughenden 66 kV transmission line, which runs adjacent to the project site and the electricity generated will meet the demand of the local region stretching from Julia Creek through to Charters Towers.
Windlab’s Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Roger Price, said Kennedy Energy Park will take around 12 months to construct and is expected to be completed and feeding energy into the network by late 2018.
Price said, “This is an industry first that will produce and feed clean renewable energy into the grid with much greater consistency and reliability from a combination of solar, wind and battery storage. We are excited about the opportunities that the expertise gained from this pioneering project will present as we seek to replicate it across selected locations in Australia and Southern Africa.”
The project is owned by Windlab and its equity partner Eurus Energy Holding Corporation of Japan. The 15 MW of solar power and 43 MW of wind energy will be produced by 56,000 solar panels and 12 Vestas V136, 3.6 megawatt wind turbines. There will also be 2 MW of storage provided by lithium-ion batteries.
The ultimate plan is to construct up to 1,200 MW of renewable energy generation in the region, which would deliver significant benefits to North Queensland and Australia in reduced emissions and sustainable energy generation.
“The Hughenden site has an excellent solar irradiation pattern and exceptional complementary wind resources which continue to blow at night making it ideal for a hybrid renewable energy project. The matching of wind and solar will be vital for Queensland in achieving it 50% renewable energy target by 2030,” Price said.
Kennedy Energy Park secured finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program.
CS Energy will purchase the energy from Kennedy Energy Park under a 10-year power purchase agreement.