CANBERRA, 18 October, 2017; Australia’s international wind energy company Windlab Limited (ASX:WND) will begin construction of the innovative $160 million Kennedy Energy Park hybrid renewable energy project, after securing financing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The project is owned by Kennedy Energy Park Holdings Pty Ltd, a joint venture between Windlab and Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation of Japan and reached financial close today.
Kennedy Energy Park (Kennedy) will be the first wind, solar and storage hybrid generator connected to the Australian national electricity network via a single connection point. Globally it is an industry leading project and will demonstrate the complementary nature of the three technologies in providing high penetration renewable energy, with significantly less variability than the individual components and delivering an energy profile which closely matches average network demand.
Kennedy will consist of 43.2MW Wind, 15MW AC, single axis tracking Solar and 4MWh of Li Ion battery storage. The project will use twelve Vestas V136, 3.6MW turbines at a hub height of 132metres; the largest wind turbines yet to be deployed in Australia. The Li Ion storage will be provided by Tesla. The project will be constructed under a joint construction contract managed by Vestas and Quanta. The project will take a little over 12 months to construct and is expected to be fully operational before the end of 2018. The project will create more than 100 local jobs during construction.
On completion, the wind farm is expected to generate around 210,000 megawatt hours of electricity per annum – enough power to supply more than 35,000 average Australian homes.
“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”, said Roger Price, Windlab’s Executive Chairman and CEO. “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”.
Project equity will be provided equally by Windlab and Eurus Energy and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will provide $93.5 million of debt finance to the project on a long tenure basis which will be non-recourse to Windlab. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will also provide $18 million in the form of a sub-ordinated refundable grant.
Kennedy is the first phase of a potential $2 Billion+ renewable energy precinct planned for North Queensland to exploit the rare, but exceptional wind resource in the region which is highly complementary and compatible with the State’s excellent solar irradiation pattern.
The project has moved quickly to close financing after the execution of a power purchase agreement with CS Energy in early September. Under the PPA CS Energy will purchase all of the electricity and some of the Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) for a period of ten (10) years. Upon the signing of the PPA, Windlab and CS Energy also entered into a priority offer arrangement which affords CS Energy a first right of offer to negotiate a contract to purchase some or all of the electricity, LGCs and other green benefits generated by Kennedy Phase II.
“The second phase of Kennedy, phase II or “Big Kennedy” as we like to call it, is 100% owned by Windlab and will provide up to 1,200MW of wind energy, critical in balancing the large amounts of solar generation that will be connected to the Queensland grid as it moves toward 50% renewable energy capacity.” stated Roger Price. “The fact that wind generation in Queensland is biased towards the late afternoon, evening and night makes it ideal for matching large amounts of solar generation, thereby reducing the need for storage and other peaking capacity across the network. This is why Big Kennedy is a central component of the Queensland Government’s Powering North Queensland Plan.”
Windlab will act as owner’s engineer during construction and will continue to manage Kennedy once operational, through Windlab Asset Management.