Kennedy Park renewable project reaches financial close

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The $160 million Kennedy Park wind, solar and battery project in North Queensland has reached financial close.

The joint venture of Australian renewable energy developer Windlab and Eurus Energy will receive $18 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) on behalf of the Australian Government.

The project will also receive up to $93.5 million in debt finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

The 60 megawatt (MW) project will consist of 43.2MW of wind, 15MW of solar PV, a 2MW lithium ion battery and a synchronous condenser.

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.

On completion, the combined wind and solar farm will generate 210,000MWh of electricity per year – enough to power more than 35,000 average Australian homes.

The project will also improve stability and reliability of the grid for communities in North Queensland, through enabling technologies to control voltage and frequency.

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 begin in 2019.

The project will demonstrate fully integrated wind, solar and batteries storage and will generate electricity closer to the point of use, relieving demand on long transmission lines from the southern parts of Queensland.

ARENA Chief Executive Officer, Ivor Frischknecht, said Kennedy Energy Park will be the first time a combined large-scale solar, wind and battery farm will be connected to the grid.

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

“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.”

Windlabs Executive Chairman and CEO, Roger Price, 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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