Kennedy’s so bright, it even works in the shade

The Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), will provide $18 million in recoupable grant funding for the Kennedy Energy Park, 17km south east of Hughenden in north Queensland.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknect said the project would provide affordable and reliable power and would help develop large-scale renewable energy plants, which could provide around-the-clock energy.

“Kennedy Energy Park will be the first time a combined large-scale solar, wind and battery installation has connected to Australia’s national energy market,” Mr Frischknect said.

“The park will be connected to the Ergon Energy network and add to the growing portfolio of ARNEA-supported fringe-of-grid projects in Queensland.

“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.”

Canberra-based Windlab and Eurus Energy are developing the joint venture, the first phase of which will cost $120 million to build. When completed it will generate 19.2 MW solar photovoltaic, 21.6 MW of wind and 2 MW battery storage and supply power to more than 22,000 homes in the local region.

Windlab CEO Roger Price said Kennedy was almost unique as it enjoys one of the best and largest wind resources in Australia, and one of the highest solar irradiance.

“They are highly consistent and complementary,” Mr Price said.

“Coupled with storage, Kennedy will demonstrate how Australia can exploit its wealth of natural resources to deliver sustainable, competitive energy supply for the future.”

Eurus President and CEO Hideyuki Inazumi said Kennedy Energy Park was a cutting-edge utility-scale renewable project, not just in Australia but in the world.

Windlab and Eurus are using the project to develop the next phase: Big Kennedy, which could be as large as $1 billion in energy infrastructure investment, and generate up to 600 MW of solar, 600 MW of wind energy and large scale battery and pumped hydro storage – which could provide energy for up to 750,000 homes – or a city the size of Perth.