Construction of a $140 million combined wind and solar energy facility in North Queensland is expected to begin within a year.
Kennedy Energy Park will go ahead as a result of a 50/50 joint venture agreement between Canberra-based Windlab Limited and Japan’s Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation.
The first stage of the Kennedy Energy Park will see 6 wind turbines and 64,000 solar panels installed. The wind turbines used will have the largest span in Australia – 136 metres in diameter. The first stage of the park will generate enough power to supply more than 25,000 Queensland homes.
The second stage will involve 1200 MW of renewable energy capacity; enough to meet most of the state’s contribution to Australia’s Renewable Energy Target.
Windlab Chief Executive Officer, Roger Price, says Kennedy Energy Park will be able to match North Queensland’s’ current energy demand profile more than 80% of the time.
“This particular site has been carefully mapped and we know it is predominantly windy through the afternoon and into the evening, and obviously experiences sunlight during daylight hours. This resource profile ensures almost constant energy production,” he said.
Flinders Shire Council has backed the project.
“The Council is very supportive of renewable energy initiatives and we are keen to continue to work with Windlab and Eurus to see this project built in the Shire of Flinders,” s aid Mayor Greg Jones.
According to Windlab, 50 local jobs will be created during construction phase, which is expected to commence after June next year.
Kennedy Energy Park will be located on farm land approximately 17 km southeast of the township of Hughenden and 290 km southwest of Townsville. It will connect into the Cape River to Hughenden 66 kV transmission line running adjacent to the project site.
Windlab was originally established to commercialise atmospheric modeling and wind energy assessment technology developed by Australia’s CSIRO. The company says it has amassed a portfolio of high quality wind farm sites totaling more than 7,000MW of potential capacity across Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Southern Africa.
Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation is jointly owned by Toyota Tsusho Corporation ( 60%) and Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated ( 40%).
Eurus is no stranger to renewable energy projects in Australia. It has a stake in the Coonooer Bridge wind farm west of Bendigo and also owns the 53MW Hallett 5 wind farm in South Australia. All told, Eurus has more than 2.4GW of solar and wind farms throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Among its latest completed projects is the Eurus Rokkasho Solar Park in Aomori prefecture, Japan, which commenced operations at the beginning of this month. The 115MW AC solar plant features approximately 510,000 solar panels spread over two sites.