The federal government will allocate $18 million towards a $120 million solar, wind and battery project in North Queensland, which clean energy supporters are hoping will help overcome concerns about intermittency of renewable projects as stated by AFR on their website.
As the Turnbull government continues to citicise state labor governments over the ambitious state-based renewable targets, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency continues to fund solar or wind projects in those states.
ARENA will announce this Friday that it has allocated a recoupable $18 million grant to a Windlab and Eurus Energy joint to build the initial phase of the Kennedy Energy Park, consisting of 19 megawatts of solar photovoltaic, 21.6 megawatts of wind and 2 megawatts to 4 megawatts of battery storage.
The all-in-one facility with connection to the electricity grid is seen as a clean energy “sweet spot” in an industry where projects normally focus on one technology like solar or wind. It will also help the Queensland government meet its ambitious target of 50% renewables by the year 2030.
Ivor Frischknecht, ARENA chief executive said it was keen to support the project, west of Townsville, which would show a pathway to around the clock renewable energy. According to Mr Frischknecht, the Kennedy Energy Park will the first to combine large-scale solar, wind and battery storage and connected to the country’s national electricity market.
If the first phase is a success, Windlab will go ahead and build a $2 billion project, dubbed as “Big Kennedy” which consist of a proposed 600 megawatts of solar and 600 megawatts and battery storage and hydro storage options, whose output will be comparable to large coal-fired power plants in Queensland.
Roger Price, Windlab chief executive, stated once completed the Kennedy Energy Park could meet most North Queensland’s energy needs, which generates enough electricity to power about 750,000 homes. Presently, there is no base-load generation in Queensland north of Rockhampton.
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said if the Kennedy Project is a success, it could be replicated across the grid, boosting energy security so there is less chance of power outages like what happened in South Australia earlier this month.