Construction begins on Australia’s first hybrid solar+wind+storage plant in Queensland

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Kennedy Energy Park will be the first hybrid generation facility of its kind in Australia, combing 43 MW of wind turbines with 15 MW of PV and 2 MW of li-ion storage. The project is jointly owned by Windlab and Japan based Eurus Energy Holding Corporation.

Power generated by the plant will be sold to Queensland Government owned CS Energy, under a 10-year PPA, which was signed back in October. The project received financing from the Clean Energy Financing Corporation and from ARENA, as part of the agency’s Advancing Renewables Program.

“This is an important and valuable demonstration of how renewable energy can be used to cost effectively meet most network demand for power – day and night, said Windlab CEO Roger Price. “We believe that this style of hybrid configuration will be increasingly used, particularly in remote locations and emerging markets, as the world transitions to a clean energy future.”

Combining solar with battery storage has rapidly gained acceptance as a way to increase the efficiency of solar generation, and adding wind to the mix as well adds the potential for renewables to cover an even higher percentage of electricity demand.

“The 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,” continues Price. “The matching of wind and solar will be vital for Queensland in achieving it’s 50% renewable energy target by 2030.”

The developer adds that it is treating the 60 MW deployment now under construction as a ‘proof of concept’, with an ultimate plan to add as much as 1.2 GW of solar and wind generation in the area. “This is the first stage of what is likely to become a multibillion-dollar investment program in and around Hughenden as this region becomes Australia’s leading renewable energy location with the completion of Queensland’s Clean Energy Hub, with “Big Kennedy” at its center.”