Tesla will provide battery storage and Vestas will supply wind turbines © Tesla
Tesla will provide battery storage and Vestas will supply wind turbines © Tesla

Tesla and Vestas to supply $160m hybrid energy project

23 October 2017

Australian renewable energy developer Windlab has revealed the suppliers for its AUS$160m renewable energy project that combines wind, solar and storage technologies.

US electric carmaker Tesla had been chosen to supply the batteries for energy storage, according to Windlab, while Danish manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems would supply turbines for the project.

Windlab’s co-developer Japanese Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation (EEHC) will supply the solar panels. 

The Kennedy Energy Park project, a joint venture between Windlab and EEHC, will be the first to connect the three renewable power technologies to the Australian grid through a single connection point.

It aims to bring down the cost of renewable energy production and help deliver a steady supply of renewable power to the grid regardless of weather conditions.

Once completed, Kennedy Energy Park will be able to generate around 210,000MWh of electricity per year, the equivalent of enough electricity to supply over 35,000 average Australian homes.

Windlab said the project in north-central Queensland will install 12 of Vestas’ V135 turbines of 3.6MW capacity each as well as 15MW of solar panel capacity and a 2MW/4MWh Tesla lithium ion battery, all managed by Vestas’ control system.

Clive Turton, president of Vestas Asia Pacific, said the combination will help provide reliable supplies of electricity, overcoming one of the biggest downsides to intermittent renewable energy generation technologies. 

“Renewables are often seen as not so reliable because we can’t control what we produce—control is what we are addressing here,” he said.

“Hybrid solutions combining wind, solar and storage hold a huge potential for Australia to leverage the country’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.”

Turton added that the project could lead to a larger 1.2GW energy park in the region.

Windlab added while it and co-developers Eurus Energy have an equal stake in the project, Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation will provide a loan of $93.5m. 

The Australian Energy Agency announced it will also be providing a grant of $18m towards the project.

Roger Price, Windlab’s CEO, said the project would demonstrate how effectively wind, solar and storage could be combined to provide low cost clean energy for Australia.

“The fact that wind generation in Queensland is biased towards the late afternoon, evening and night make it ideal for matching large amounts of solar generation, thereby reducing the need for storage and another peaking capacity across the network,” he said. 

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