The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today announced $18 million in funding for the $160 million Kennedy Energy Park.
The 60.5MW project, located in North Queensland, will consist of 43.2MW of wind, 15MW of solar PV, a 2MW lithium-ion battery and a synchronous condenser.
ARENA will provide $18 million recoupable grant for the project, a joint venture of Australian renewable energy developer Windlab and Eurus Energy.
In an ASX announcement today, Windlab announced the project had reached financial close.
“We believe Kennedy Energy Park will demonstrate how effectively wind, solar and storage can be combined to provide low cost, reliable and clean energy for Australia’s future,” Windlab executive chairman and CEO Roger Price said.
The project will also receive up to $93 million in debt finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)
Kennedy Park will now include nearly double the wind power originally intended through 12 3.6MW turbines.
On completion, the combined wind and solar farm will generate 210,000MWh of electricity per year – enough to power more than 35,000 average Australian homes.
This project will also lay the foundations for a planned much larger second phase, called ‘Big Kennedy’, a $2 billion 1200MW solar and wind farm, due to commence in 2019.
It will demonstrate fully integrated wind, solar and batteries storage and will generate electricity closer to the point of use, relieving demand on long transmission lines from the southern parts of Queensland.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said Kennedy Energy Park will be the first time a combined large-scale solar, wind and battery farm will be connected to the grid.
“Kennedy enjoys one of the best and largest wind resources in Australia, alongside one of the best solar sites,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“By integrating wind, solar and batteries, this will be able to provide reliable and dispatchable electricity to North Queensland.
“This project will now also help improve the stability and reliability of the network in North Queensland.
“ARENA is excited to be funding such an ambitious project in what will be a significant step towards Queensland generating half its electricity from renewable energy.”
The project is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2018.