Vestas and Tesla are building the first utility-scale hybrid project with storage in Australia

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The first utility-scale clean energy project, combining solar and wind power with storage will be built by Vestas and Tesla and will be located in Flinders Shire, in north-central Queensland.

The Kennedy Energy Park will comprise 12 Vesta’s V136 wind turbines of 3.6MW installed capacity each, 15MW of photovoltaic solar, and 4MWh Tesla lithium-ion batteries, all managed by Vesta’s control system and will be connected to the grid through a single connection point.

The project will be owned by Kennedy Energy Park Holdings Pty Ltd, a joint venture between Windlab and Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation of Japan.

The hybrid power project will cost $160 million, and as announced by a statement from WindLab Ltd, it reached financial close on Thursday, enabling construction to begin soon.

Clean Energy Finance Corporation will provide $93.5 million, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency $18 million and developers Windlab and Eurus Energy Holdings Corp will cover the rest of the costs with equity.

The 60.2MW project is estimated to be commissioned by the end of 2018 offering a viable solution to the intermitted nature of renewable energy sources.

Clive Turton, president of Vestas Asia Pacific said to Bloomberg Markets: “Renewables are often seen as not so reliable because we can’t control what we produce; Control is what we are addressing here”.

After completion, the wind farm is expected to generate approximately 210,000MWh per year, enough to power more than 35,000 Australian homes.

Roger Price, Windlab’s Executive Chairman and CEO said: “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”.

He added: “The broader adoption of projects like Kennedy can address the recommendations of the Finkel review and ensure that Australia can more than meet its Paris Commitments while putting downward pressure on energy prices”.

If successful, the project has the potential to scale-up since Queensland offers exceptional but rare wind resources which perform very well in tandem with solar.

Roger Price stated: “The second phase of Kennedy, phase II or “Big Kennedy” as we like to call it, is 100 percent owned by Windlab and will provide up to 1,200MW of wind energy, critical in balancing the large amounts of solar generation that will be connected to the Queensland grid as it moves toward 50 percent renewable energy capacity”.

“The fact that wind generation in Queensland is biased towards the late afternoon, evening and night make it ideal for matching large amounts of solar generation, thereby reducing the need for storage and another peaking capacity across the network”.

“This is why Big Kennedy is a central component of the Queensland Government’s Powering North Queensland Plan”. 

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