Windlab, Eurus to build $102m solar and wind farm in Australia

Windlab, an Australian renewable energy development company, has confirmed today that it is to partner with Japanese development firm Eurus Energy Holdings Corp on the creation of a 1.2 GW hybrid solar and wind power plant in Queensland, Australia.

Construction is scheduled to begin in June next year, with stage one of the project costing $102 million and consisting of an initial six wind turbines and 64,000 solar panels installed across an 80 hectare location in North Queensland.

The Kennedy Energy Park will be the largest such development of its kind in Australia, and will be developed as a 50/50 joint venture (JV) between the two firms.

The location of the Kennedy Energy Park was chosen thanks to its prime conditions, boasting high levels of solar irradiance and a top-class wind energy profile, said Windlab CEO Roger Price.

"In combination, these natural resources can provide a net capacity factor approaching 70%, better than ‘baseload’ coal utilization in Queensland," Price added. "This particular site has been carefully mapped and we know it is predominantly windy through the afternoon and into the evening, and obviously experiences sunshine during daylight hours. This resource profile ensures almost constant energy production."

The first stage of the project will create around 50 local construction jobs, and upon completion meet the power needs of 25,000 local households. Once stage two has been completed, the 1.2 GW plant will match North Queensland’s current energy demand profile "more than 80% of the time".

Backing from the local Hughenden community, some 300 km from Townsville, has been critical in securing permission for the project, Windlab’s Price said, revealing that the Flinders Shire Mayor, Greg Jones, had offered his support for the development to take place.

Jones said: "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."