Kennedy Energy Park

Windlab and Vestas partner on the world’s first utility-scale hybrid integrating wind, solar and storage

A partnership between renewable energy industry leaders has announced the final details of a project that will help accelerate the transition to an energy mix led by renewable energy and aim to provide even more reliable and consistent renewable energy production adapted to energy demand and grid requirements.

Developed by Australia’s international renewable energy company, Windlab, with support from Vestas, the global leader in sustainable energy solutions, the innovative 60.2 MW Kennedy Energy Park phase I is the world’s first utility-scale, on-grid wind, solar and battery energy storage project. Designed to supply consistent and reliable renewable electricity that can help meet power demand in Australia, Kennedy Phase I can also shape a path forward for how Australia and other countries can integrate more renewable energy into their energy mix and address grid stability challenges that have been a traditional restraint to greater uptake of renewable energy.

The Kennedy Energy Park at Flinders Shire in Queensland will be the first wind, solar and battery storage facility connected to Australia's electricity grid via a single connection. Making the most of Queensland's later afternoon, evening and night wind increase will be 12 Vestas V136 turbines rated at 43.2 MW. Standing 132 meters (433 ft) tall, they are set to be the largest turbines deployed in Australia.

A 15 MW AC single axis tracking solar setup will soak up the north Australian sun and 4 MWh of Tesla Li-ion battery storage should help smooth out generation spikes and dips. A Vestas' custom control system will manage the operation of the facility, to "provide the capability for wind and solar to work together as an integrated power plant and comply with grid requirements."

It's expected to take just over 12 months to complete construction, with the big switch on penciled in before the end of 2018. Once operational, Windlab says the facility will generate 210,000 MWh of electricity per year, which is said to be enough to meet the power needs of 35,000 average Australian homes. PPA CS Energy has committed to buy all the electricity generated for at least the next 10 years.

This project is planned to be the first phase of Windlab’s larger 1,200 MW Kennedy Energy Park, which seeks to deliver significant benefits to north Queensland and Australia in reduced emissions and sustainable energy generation.

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