Major solar, wind and storage hybrid project approved in Australia

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The hybrid project comprises 20MW solar, 30MW wind and a 2MW lithium-ion battery storage system in Queensland, Australia. Credit: NEC

Australia-based renewables firm Windlab and Japan’s Eurus energy have received development approval for a hybrid project comprising 20MW solar, 30MW wind and a 2MW lithium-ion battery storage system in Queensland, Australia.

Construction of the AU$120 million (US$89.8 million) Kennedy Energy Park, located 20 kilometres south east of Hughenden, near the Flinders Highway, will begin in early 2017.

It will include 200,000 solar panels on single-axis trackers and 9-12 wind turbines. More than 50 direct and indirect jobs will be created as well as multiple jobs during construction.

Windlab plans to use this first stage of the project to prove the effectiveness of the technology and then gain support for a far larger deployment. Windlab plans to build more than 1GW of wind and solar north of Hughenden, after completing this first stage.

Geoff Burns, project director for Windlab, said: “Hughenden is almost unique in that it enjoys one of the best wind resources in Australia, co-located with one of the best solar resources. Furthermore, they are highly consistent and complementary; when the sun sets the wind ramps up and continues through to the morning after the sun rises. It is this unique characteristic that will allow Kennedy to provide a near base load generation profile.”

The two project developers completed the Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm early this year.

Kennedy Energy Park will be operational early in 2018 generating enough electricity for more than 30,000 homes.

Australia's renewbale energy industry has faced fresh attacks since the recent federal election.

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