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Australia To Build Solar-Wind-Storage Project In North Queensland

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has committed up to $18 million to fund the development of an Australian-first solar-wind-storage project in North Queensland.

Announced on Friday, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will commit up to $18 million in recoupable grant funding for an Australian-first solar-wind-storage project set to be developed by Windlab and Eurus Energy in the country’s northeast. The Kennedy Energy Park project, consisting of 19.2 MW solar PV, 21.6 MW wind, and 2 MW/4 MWh battery storage, and set for completion by 2018, will be able to provide renewable energy on-demand while also setting a path for future such projects to be developed.

arena-3“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,” said ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht. “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.”

The current, smaller phase will cost $120 million, but is set to be a pilot for a larger second phase called Big Kennedy, which could include up to 600 MW of solar PV and 600 MW of wind, as well as 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.”

“We are delighted to receive ARENA’s support,” said Windlab CEO Roger Price. “Kennedy is almost unique in that it enjoys one of the best and largest wind resources in Australia, co-located with one of the best solar resources. Furthermore, they are highly consistent and complementary.”

Image Credit: @Arena

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