Home Energy Battery powers up for far North Queensland grid

Battery powers up for far North Queensland grid

The first big solar and big battery storage to be connected to the grid has started providing power to Far North Queensland homes and businesses.

The $42.5 million grid-connected facility — funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency — includes a 10.8 MW AC solar farm featuring more than 40,000 solar panels alongside a 1.4 MW / 5.3MWh lithium-ion battery, which together are capable of supplying more than 3000 homes and businesses.

The project sees ARENA provide $17.4 million in funding for the Lakeland Solar and Storage project on the Cape York Peninsula, near Cooktown, 240 kilometres north-west of Cairns.

ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said Lakeland was Australia’s first utility scale colocated solar and battery project to be connected to the grid.

“The ambitious project by Conergy has helped to show the importance of combining storage technologies with large-scale solar.

“Lakeland is a demonstration for how integrated solar and batteries can together deliver dispatchable supply feeding electricity into the grid when it is needed, whether or not the sun is available at that moment.

“It will also be a test case for deliberate ‘islanding’, where a section of the grid continues to provide power while disconnected from the main grid. This capability will increase the reliability of local supply and pave the way for other fringe of the grid locations.” he said.

Frischknecht says solar farms combined with storage are going to play a hugely important role in Australia’s electricity grid in the future.

Conergy managing director Christopher West said the company was excited to be delivering reliable, renewable power to FNQ.

“It’s great news for the people of Queensland, and it’s a milestone for Conergy as we bring this facility on-line – the first solar and storage project of its scale connected to the grid in Australia.

“The region has abundant solar resources, so it’s an ideal place to deliver solar projects like Lakeland.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).