A Queensland government-owned generator has entered into a ten-year agreement with the 60MW Kennedy Energy Park near Hughenden in North Queensland to purchase the electricity output and a proportion of the large-scale generation certificates from the planned hybrid generation facility.

Kennedy Energy Park Director, Rob Fisher, welcomed the agreement with CS Energy.

“The agreement with CS Energy means that this industry leading project can commence construction later this year and be generating in 2018,” Mr Fisher said.

“The project will prove up many key concepts and technologies necessary for the ongoing rollout of high penetration renewable energy around the world.”

CS Energy CEO, Martin Moore, said the agreement was part of CS Energy’s strategy to facilitate renewable energy development in Queensland while continuing to provide reliable baseload electricity through its existing portfolio of power stations.

“CS Energy is looking to the future and making strategic investments that will provide a sustainable future for the company and support Queensland’s transition to a clean energy future,” Mr Moore said.

Kennedy Energy Park will comprise a 15 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic plant, 43.5MW wind plant and 2MW/4MWh of battery storage, and is being developed by Windlab and Eurus Energy Holdings.

The innovative approach of combining world class wind and solar resources, which peak in their generation at different times of the day, with battery storage will allow the Kennedy Energy Park to supply energy to the grid even when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow.

Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, said the Kennedy Energy Park will provide enough electricity to power more than 30,000 homes.

“This $150 million project is part of a wave of renewable energy investment occurring in North Queensland that will revitalise communities and create jobs for the future,” Mr Pitt said.

“Since January 2016, Queensland has seen an unprecedented level of renewable energy investment activity in North Queensland, with over 830 megawatts of large-scale projects commencing construction or finalising commercial arrangements.”

Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply, Mark Bailey, said the Queensland Government had kick started the renewable energy boom.

“Under the Powering Queensland Plan and Powering North Queensland Plan, the Palaszczuk Government is committed to growing the state’s uptake of renewable energy.

“As at 30 August, 2017 – there are 20 financially committed large-scale renewable projects in the pipeline statewide worth $3.4 billion, with a generating capacity of 1781MW, supporting 2,773 construction jobs.

“Of those financially committed projects, 14 are in North Queensland and involve investment of nearly $2 billion. They have a generating capacity of 1001MW and are supporting 1,873 construction jobs.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to achieving a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030 which has the potential to deliver broad benefits to the economy, particularly in regional Queensland.”

The Kennedy Energy Park will connect to the national grid via existing transmission infrastructure, with a maximum export capacity of 50MW.

The project expects to be fully operational in the second half of 2018.

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