Thursday, 19 October 2017 11:47

ARENA to put $18 million into Qld project

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ARENA to put $18 million into Qld project Image courtesy of Anusom P nachol at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is contributing $18 million towards funding for the $160 million Kennedy Park wind, solar and battery project in North Queensland.

The 60.5 megawatt (MW) project will consist of 43.2 MW of wind, 15 MW of solar PV, a 2 MW lithium ion battery and a synchronous condenser. ARENA, on behalf of the Australian Government, will provide a $18 million recoupable grant.

The project is a joint venture of Australian renewable energy developer Windlab and Eurus Energy and, in an ASX announcement, Windlab announced the project had reached financial close.  

The project will also receive up to $93 million in debt finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

ARENA’s funding was originally committed in July 2016, but the project has subsequently been expanded in scope to overcome connection challenges.

Kennedy Park will now include nearly double the wind power originally intended through 12 3.6MW turbines and, on completion, the combined wind and solar farm will generate 210,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year – enough to power more than 35,000 average Australian homes.

The project is also expected to improve stability and reliability of the grid for communities in North Queensland, through enabling technologies to control voltage and frequency, and is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2018.

And the project will also lay the foundations for a planned much larger second phase, called "Big Kennedy", a $2 billion 1200MW solar and wind farm due to commence in 2019.

ARENA chief executive officer Ivor Frischknecht said Kennedy Energy Park would be the first time a combined large scale solar, wind and battery farm would be connected to the grid.

“Kennedy enjoys one of the best and largest wind resources in Australia, alongside one of the best solar sites.

“By integrating wind, solar and batteries, this will be able to provide reliable and dispatchable electricity to North Queensland.

“This project will now also help improve the stability and reliability of the network in North Queensland.

“ARENA is excited to be funding such an ambitious project in what will be a significant step towards Queensland generating half its electricity from renewable energy.”

Roger Price, Windlabs executive chairman and chief execcutive, 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.

“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.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a 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).

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