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Australian Renewable Energy Agency backs AU$120m solar-wind-battery project

This project is the pilot for the larger 600MW PV and 600MW wind project with potentially multiple storage options. Image: NEC ES
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has committed up to AU$18 million (US$13.7 million) in funding to build the first phase of the AU$120 million (US$91.5 million) solar-wind-storage project by Windlab and Eurus that will deliver renewable energy on demand.

Kennedy Energy Park will consist of 19.2MW of solar PV, 21.6MW of wind and 2MW of battery storage and will be located near Hughenden in North Queensland. It is a world-leading project that will set a trail for round-the-clock renewable energy, according to ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht.

“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,” he said in a statement.

The project is a pilot for the next phase, ‘Big Kennedy’, which is planned to include up to 600MW of solar PV and 600MW of wind and the potential for multiple storage options such as large-scale battery and regional-pumped hydro storage, according to ARENA. ‘Big Kennedy’ could potentially provide up to 20% of new generation capacity for Australia’s 2020 renewable energy target to reach 23.5% renewable sources.

The triple offering provides the perfect combination for continuous energy supply; with wind generating power throughout the day and night, while solar ramps up during peak demand times. The addition of energy storage will add grid-balancing and frequency regulation capabilities – allowing for a smooth delivery of power that combats the variable generation of renewables.

The 42.8MW park will be connected to distributor Ergon Energy's network and serves as the latest addition to ARENA-supported fringe of the grid projects, following the Gullen Range solar farm and Queensland’s Lakeland solar and storage project.

“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,” added Frischknecht.

“We are delighted to receive ARENA’s support. 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,” said Windlab CEO Roger Price in a statement. “Coupled with storage, Kennedy will demonstrate how Australia can exploit its wealth of natural resources to deliver sustainable, competitive energy supply for the future.”

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