|14 October 2016|

Australia

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is backing a pioneering new project combining solar, wind and battery storage.

Kennedy Energy Park in North Queensland has received an $18 million grant from ARENA which will be used by Windlab and Eurus Energy  to build the first $120 million phase of the project.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the development points the way to a future with around-the-clock renewable energy.

“Kennedy Energy Park will be the first time a combined large-scale solar, wind and battery installation has connected to Australia’s national electricity market,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“Wind will generate power throughout the day and night, while solar ramps up during peak demand times when the sun is shining. Battery storage will smooth out power delivery from both sources, dispatching it when it’s needed most and increasing overall reliability.

“This will build on two Australian first projects ARENA has recently supported: the Gullen Range solar farm, co-located with an existing wind farm near Canberra, and the Lakeland solar and storage project in far North Queensland.

“The park will be connected to the Ergon Energy network and add to the growing portfolio of ARENA-supported fringe-of-grid projects in Queensland.

“Ergon will use it as an opportunity to better understand how renewables can enhance a weak part of the network and how different renewable energy technologies can work together to serve the dynamic power requirements at a grid connection point.”

The project is a pilot for the next phase, ‘Big Kennedy’, which is planned to include up to 600 MW of solar PV and 600 MW of wind and the potential for multiple storage options such as large-scale battery and regional pumped hydro storage.

“The proposed scale of Big Kennedy is comparable to large coal-fired plants in Queensland like Tarong or Stanwell,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“Big Kennedy could meet most of Northern Australia’s growing demand for electricity and provide as much as 20 per cent of new build capacity for Australia’s 2020 renewable energy target.

“If Windlab and Eurus can successfully integrate the first phase of Kennedy Energy Park into the network, it will provide a strong business case and greatly assist with securing capital, debt finance and approvals for the next phase.”

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