Renewable energy providing near baseload generation
Kennedy Energy Park is an innovative wind, solar and energy storage facility located in Flinders Shire in central north Queensland. This region is blessed with an abundance of renewable energy resources, including wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. In particular, the wind and solar resources are world class and are complementary to such an extent that when combined they can supply energy to the grid with reliability never before seen in the Australian renewable industry.
Commencing with the “proof-of-concept” Kennedy Energy Park project of 15 MW solar, 43.2 MW wind, plus 2 MW of storage, the ultimate plan is to construct up to 1,200 MW of renewable energy generation in the region, which would deliver significant benefits to North Queensland and Australia in reduced emissions and sustainable energy generation. Collectively the renewable energy generation would provide electricity for an equivalent of 800,000 homes. The improvements in reliability and reduced dependency on power from southeast of the state will also greatly assist to promote industry and business development in the region.
Kennedy Energy Park is located on sparsely timbered farm land approximately 17 km southeast of the township of Hughenden and 290 km southwest of Townsville.
The location for Kennedy Energy Park was selected by Windlab as the region has the one of the highest levels of solar irradiance that can be connected into electricity network and possesses a world class complementary wind resource. What makes it so complementary is that on a typical day the solar resource ramps up in the morning as the wind slows down, and in the evening as the sun is setting the wind picks up and continues to generate steady power throughout the night. The result of this complementary relationship is highly reliable renewable electricity generation that overcomes the intermittency so often associated with wind energy or solar energy alone.
Kennedy Energy Park will connect into the Cape River to Hughenden 66 kV transmission line, which runs adjacent to the project site and the electricity generated will meet the demand of the local region stretching from Julia Creek through to Charters Towers.
The facility will be a significant boost for the local economy, helping create local jobs and generating more business in the Hughenden region, particularly during the construction period. Kennedy Energy Park began construction in late 2017 and will be operational by late 2018.