Vestas turbines to be used at world-first hybrid project

AUSTRALIA: Vestas will supply the turbines for the world's first utility-scale hybrid project comprising wind turbines, solar panels and battery storage.

Kennedy Phase 1 is expected to be operational by the end of next year (pic: Kennedy Energy Park)

The manufacturer will provide 12 of its V136-3.6MW turbines for the 60.2MW first phase of the Kennedy Energy Park in north Queensland.

Kennedy Phase 1 will also use 15MW of solar panels and a 2MW/4MWh lithium ion battery storage system, supplied by Elon Musk's Tesla, all managed by a control system customised by Vestas.

The company will also provide a 15-year service agreement for the site, which includes a full-scope service package for the turbines as well as scheduled maintenance for the project’s other components.

According to developer WindLab, the project will take roughly 12 months to construct and is expected to be fully operational before the end of 2018, creating more than 100 local jobs during construction.

"Hybrid solutions combining wind, solar and storage hold a huge potential for Australia," said Clive Turton, president of Vestas Asia Pacific.

"Kennedy Phase I has the potential to leverage Australia's abundant renewable energy resources and be a giant leap forward for the country in reaping those resources while ensuring a consistent and reliable electricity supply," he added. 

Kennedy Phase 1 is part of a wider project, which could provide as much capacity as 1.2GW and would cost about A$1 billion ($792 million) to build.

Windlab stated it would share knowledge and experience it gains from building and operating Kennedy Phase 1 with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency "in order to support further hybrid projects in Australia".

Utility-scale, two-technology projects have previously been built elsewhere using a combination of wind, solar and/or storage.

Demonstration hybrid projects have also been developed combining all three, but Windlab’s Kennedy site is on course to be the first to use all three on a large scale and connected to a grid.