Construction on 60-MW Aussie hybrid renewables project starts

Kennedy project. Source: Windlab (www.kennedyenergypark.com.au).

December 11 (Renewables Now) - Construction on Windlab Ltd’s (ASX:WND) 60.5-MW Kennedy hybrid renewable energy project in North Queensland started today, with an official ceremony to mark the occasion.

Developer Windlab said last week it expects construction of the AUD-160-million (USD 120.4m/EUR 102.2m) project to take around 12 months so the power complex could be up and running near the end of next year.

The Kennedy project will combine 43.2 MW of wind turbines, 15 MW of single-axis tracking solar capacity and 4 MWh of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery storage. It will use 12 Vestas V136, 3.6MW turbines, while the storage will be supplied by Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Once completed, the complex will be able to generate about 210,000 MWh of electricity annually, or enough to supply over 35,000 local households.

"This is an industry first that will produce and feed clean renewable energy into the grid with much greater consistency and reliability from a combination of solar, wind and battery storage," said Windlab’s CEO Roger Price.

The hybrid scheme is a joint venture between Windlab and Japan's Eurus Energy Holdings Corp, which reached financial close on the project in October. The partners will provide equal amounts of equity. They secured AUD 93.5 million of debt finance from the the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and an AUD-18-million recoupable grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The project is backed by a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with CS Energy for all of its electricity and some of the Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs).

The Kennedy development is the first stage of a bigger project that WinLab says will turn into a “multibillion-dollar” investment programme. The Big Kennedy second phase will include up to 1,200 MW of wind energy.

(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.752/EUR 0.639)

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Veselina Petrova is one of SeeNews Renewables most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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