Kennedy Park will be major renewable project in Hughenden

SUNNY DAYS: ARENA has committed up to $18 million in recoupable grant funding for a solar/wind venture near Hughenden.

SUNNY DAYS: ARENA has committed up to $18 million in recoupable grant funding for a solar/wind venture near Hughenden.

A world-leading project combining solar, wind and battery storage will be built near Hughenden delivering renewable energy on demand.  

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has committed up to $18 million in recoupable grant funding for a Windlab and Eurus Energy joint venture to build the first $120 million phase of Kennedy Energy Park, consisting of 19.2 MW (AC) solar photovoltaic (PV), 21.6 MW wind and 2 MW/4 MWh battery storage.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the trailblazing project would provide reliable and affordable power and highlight a pathway towards around-the-clock renewable energy.

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

“Wind will generate power throughout the day and night, while solar ramps up during peak demand times when the sun is shining. Battery storage will smooth out power delivery from both sources, dispatching it when it’s needed most and increasing overall reliability.

Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said the wind and solar farm would boost energy supply and reliability and was expected to create more than 50 direct jobs during construction.

“The Kennedy Energy Park is the first project in Australia to harness solar, wind and battery technology to bring dispatchable renewable energy to the state’s grid while relieving network demand,” Mr Bailey said.

"This investment, led by leading renewable developer Windlab will bolster energy security from Julia Creek to Charters Towers.”

 Mr Frischknecht said the park would be connected to the Ergon network and add to the portfolio of ARENA-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,” he said.

The project is a pilot for the next phase, ‘Big Kennedy’, which is planned to include up to 600 MW of solar PV and 600 MW of wind and the potential for multiple storage options such as large-scale battery and regional pumped hydro storage.

“The proposed scale of Big Kennedy is comparable to large coal-fired plants in Queensland like Tarong or Stanwell,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“Big Kennedy could meet most of Northern Australia’s growing demand for electricity and provide as much as 20 per cent of new build capacity for Australia’s 2020 renewable energy target.”

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