Storage has always been the problem that’s dogged the renewable energy industry, but it looks like Australia’s Outback is where it’ll be solved.
In early 2020, one of the world’s first combined solar, wind and battery storage projects will fire up just outside the small town of Hughendon. The Kennedy Energy Park will comprise 43MW of wind, 20MW of solar and a 2MW Tesla lithium-ion battery.
This park could well be a sign of things to come. It’s a project aimed at stabilising renewable power so that the grid isn’t as dependent on the sun constantly shining and the wind always blowing. The growth of storage is also driven by the falling costs of green technologies – developers and suppliers are looking for new avenues of income, with storage probably being the next big thing.
Location, location, location
Roger Price is the CEO of Windlab, the company collaborating with Eurus Energy Holdings on the energy park; he believes that the park’s location is one of the best possible. There’s a lot of sun, backed up with enough wind to keep supplies stable; the wind blows mainly at night, so it’s easy to see how these two resources work well together. Combining the two resources in an optimal way is the key to getting renewables further embedded into the grid, he says.
More projects in Kennedy’s wake
Other projects are following on from the Kennedy park, with 690MW of capacity in total being commissioned across the nation, according to BNEF. Earlier this year, a joint venture between Lacour Energy and Xinjiang Goldwind Science and Technology Company won the bid to build the $250 million Kondinin complex in WA. This complex will combine 120MW of wind, 50MW of solar and battery storage.
The Goyder South project in SA, run by French company Neoen, is set to be even bigger. Construction is planned for 2021 and the complex will fulfil an unprecedented 1,200MW of wind, 600MW of solar, alongside 900MW of storage.