Construction of the first utility-scale wind, solar and storage hybrid generator connected to the national electricity network has started near Hughenden.
The first sod of soil was turned at a ceremony marking the start of work on the innovative $160 million Kennedy Park Energy developed by Australian energy company Windlab Limited.
Windlab CEO Roger Price said Kennedy Energy Park would take 12 months to construct and would feed clean energy into the network by late 2018.
“This is an industry first that will produce and feed clean renewable energy into the grid with much greater consistency and reliability from a combination of solar, wind and battery storage,” Mr Price said.
“It’s also an important and valuable demonstration of how renewable energy can be used to cost effectively meet most network demand for power - day and night.”
Mr Price this hybrid configuration would be increasingly used, particularly in remote locations and emerging markets, as the world transitions to a clean energy future.
The project is owned by Windlab and Japanese equity partner Eurus Energy Holding Corporation.
The clean renewable energy from the project will be produced by 56,000 solar panels and twelve Vestas V136, 3.6 megawatt wind turbines.
Kennedy Park Energy Hub will have a maximum generating capacity of 60 megawatts of renewable energy - 43 from wind, 15 from solar and two from lithium Ion storage batteries.
The wind farm is expected to generate around 210,000 megawatt hours of electricity a year – enough power to supply more than 35,000 homes.
Queensland wind farms will produce most of their electricity late afternoon and evening which coincide swith high network demand. The Hughenden site has an excellent solar irradiation pattern and exceptional complementary wind resources making it ideal for a hybrid renewable energy project.
This is the first stage of a multibillion-dollar investment program to make Hughenden Australia’s leading renewable energy location with the completion of Queensland’s Clean Energy Hub, with “Big Kennedy” at its centre.
“Big Kennedy is the second phase of the overall project and will provide up to 1200 megawatts of wind energy and is a central component of the Queensland Government’s Powering North Queensland Plan,” Mr Price said.
“Big Kennedy will be critical in balancing Queensland’s solar generation as the state moves towards 50% renewable energy capacity.”
CS Energy will purchase the energy from Kennedy Energy Park under a 10-year power purchase agreement.