In an Australian first, a large-scale solar, wind and battery storage project will be built in North Queensland and feed power into the national electricity grid.
The Federal Government will provide $18 million in recoupable grant funding through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for the Kennedy Energy Park project, which will be built 20km south east of Hughenden.
Canberra-based Windlab and Eurus Energy are developing the project in a joint venture. The first phase of Kennedy Energy Park will cost $120 million and include 19.2 MW (AC) solar photovoltaic (PV), 21.6 MW wind and 2 MW/4 MWh battery storage.
The energy park will generate and store enough renewable energy to power more than 22,000 homes in the local region and improve our energy security.
The project represents a significant infrastructure investment and will create more than 50 direct and many more indirect jobs in Hughenden during construction.
The project will provide opportunities for more reliable renewable energy that can be dispatched when the renewables are unable to function at their optimum.
Renewable energy installed close to the point of use can offer more efficient power and, in certain circumstances, could safeguard communities against regional power losses leading to greater energy security.
This model could be replicated in other remote communities at the fringes of Australia’s main electricity grid. Adding more renewable energy to Australia’s energy markets will help meet emissions reduction targets and boost overall energy security.
Windlab and Eurus are using the project to lay the groundwork for a possible next phase, ‘Big Kennedy’, which could see $1 billion worth of renewable energy infrastructure investment, generate hundreds of jobs and boost the regional North Queensland economy.
The proposed scale of Big Kennedy is unprecedented in Australia. It’s planned to include up to 600MW of solar and 600MW of wind and storage such as large-scale battery and regional pumped hydro storage. This is enough energy to power up to 750,000 average Australian homes or a city the size of Perth.