Construction has started on the $150 million Kennedy Energy Park near Hughenden in North Queensland with the first sod of soil turned.

Kennedy Energy Park will comprise a 15 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic plant, 43.2MW wind plant and 2MW/4MWh of battery storage, and is being developed by Windlab and Eurus Energy Holdings.

CS Energy Chairman, Jim Soorley, said the start of construction marks a great day for the region as the project will not only create jobs and renewable energy, it also reinforces the regions reputation as the renewable energy capital of Queensland.

“The owners of Kennedy Energy Park, Windlab and Eurus Energy Holdings, have done a tremendous job in negotiating agreements with numerous parties which includes transmission and finance agreements,” Mr Soorley said.

“CS Energy is proud of its role in Kennedy Energy Park through a long-term agreement to purchase the electricity output and a proportion of the large-scale generation certificates from the planned hybrid generation facility.

“The agreement supports the CS Energy strategy to facilitate renewable energy development in Queensland while continuing to provide reliable baseload electricity through its existing portfolio of power stations.”

Windlab’s Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Roger Price, said Kennedy Energy Park will take around 12 months to construct, and is expected to be completed and feeding clean energy into the network by late 2018.

“This is an industry first that will produce and feed clean renewable energy into the grid with much greater consistency and reliability from a combination of solar, wind and battery storage.

“It’s also an important and valuable demonstration of how renewable energy can be used to cost effectively meet most network demand for power – day and night. We believe that this style of hybrid configuration will be increasingly used, particularly in remote locations and emerging markets, as the world transitions to a clean energy future.”

When the Kennedy Energy Park is fully operational in late 2018, its wind, solar and storage sources will provide enough electricity to power more than 30,000 homes. The project will also play a key role in the Queensland Government’s 50 percent renewable energy target by 2030 and is a catalyst for the second phase 1,200MW Kennedy Wind Farm project which is a crucial component of the Powering North Queensland Plan.

Kennedy Energy Park secured finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Programme.

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