Windlab and Eurus Energy form JV to develop 1.2GW hybrid wind and solar energy park in Australia

26 October 2015 (Last Updated October 26th, 2015 18:30)

Australian energy giant Windlab is expected to start construction works for a 1,200MW wind and solar energy park in Queensland within a year, along with Japan's Eurus Energy.

Australian energy giant Windlab is expected to start construction works for a 1,200MW wind and solar energy park in Queensland within a year, along with Japan’s Eurus Energy.

Windlab will be forming a 50:50 joint venture with the Japanese firm for setting up the proposed Kennedy Energy Park hybrid solar/wind plant within 12 months.

Expected to cost around A$140m ($102m), the project will be developed under a phased approach.

It is to be located near Hughenden, around 300km inland for Townsville, and expected to generate more than 50 job opportunities during its construction.

"This resource profile ensures almost constant energy production.

The developers have planned to install six turbines with a diameter of 136m, along with 64,000 solar panels under the initial phase of the project.

Once developed, the 100MW Phase I will be connected to the existing electricity grid and will have the capacity to generate clean energy for more than 25,000 homes in the Australian state.

At present, the state sources 90% of its energy requirements from fossil fuels.

Claimed to be the first large-scale hybrid solar and wind park in the country, the project will help the state to meet its specified contribution for the national 2020 Renewable Energy Target.

Windlab CEO Roger Price said: "In combination, these natural resources can provide a net capacity factor approaching 70%, better than ‘base load’ coal utilisation in Queensland.

"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.

"Coupled with state-of-the-art grid storage, Kennedy will be able to match North Queensland’s current energy demand profile more than 80% of the time."

The proposed JV partners have also agreed to another deal earlier in the year to develop 20MW Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm in Victoria.