A new renewable energy project, due to enter construction in 2017, is to be built on farm land approximately 17 km southeast of the township of Hughenden, Australia. Phase one of the Kennedy Energy Park project will combine wind and solar power in conjunction with battery storage to provide reliable and affordable power.
The location has been selected by the global wind energy development company Windlab Limited, due to it being an area with one of the highest levels of solar irradiance that can be connected to an electricity network. On a typical day, the solar resource ramps up in the morning as the wind slows down and in the evening as the sun is setting, the wind picks up and continues to generate steady power throughout the night. This collaboration results in electricity generation that overcomes the obstacle of intermittent renewable energy associated with wind or solar energy alone.
The facility is expected to be fully operational by 2018 and will create a significant boost to the local economy, helping create new construction jobs and generate more local business.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has committed up to $18 million in recoupable grant funding for a joint venture with Windlab and a Japanese company Eurus Energy, to complete the first $120 million phase of the project. It is hoped that the success of the park will lead to a further large scale solar and wind development named ‘Big Kennedy.' This massive project is estimated to 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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ARENA. (2016). Retrieved 14 October, 2016 from ARENA media statement
Kennedy Energy park. (2016). Retrieved 14 October, 2016 from http://kennedyenergypark.com.au/
Windlab. (2016). Retrieved 14 October, 2016 from http://www.windlab.com/