Plans for a $140 million wind and solar project in north Queensland are coming to fruition, with developers announcing they expect to start construction within 12 months.
Australia’s Windlab is partnering with Japan’s Eurus Energy – majority owned by Toyota Tsusho Corp with the balance held by the Tokyo Electric Power Company – to build what will become Australia’s first large-scale hybrid solar-wind power facility.
The first stage will consist of six wind turbines, each with a diameter of 136m, and 64,000 solar panels. In the second stage, the complex could expand to 1.2GW of renewable energy capacity. According to Windlab, this would be enough to meet much of Queensland’s contribution to the national 2020 Renewable Energy Target.
The Kennedy Energy Park will connect into the Cape River to Hughenden 66kV transmission line, which runs adjacent to the project site and the electricity generated will meet the demand of the local region stretching from Julia Creek through to Charters Towers. Collectively the renewable energy generation would provide electricity for an equivalent of 400,000 homes.
The facility will be a significant boost for the local economy, helping create local jobs and generating more business in the Hughenden region, particularly during the construction period.
The Kennedy Energy Park is expected to enter construction in 2017 and be operational the following year.
“In combination, these natural resources can provide a net capacity factor approaching 70 per cent, better than “base load” coal utilisation in Queensland,” Windlab CEO Roger Price said.
The project will create 50 construction jobs and is expected to generate power equivalent to the consumption of 25,000 Queensland households.