Kennedy Energy Park

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The Kennedy Energy Park project is located near Hughenden, Queensland, approximately 290kms South-West of Townsville. The wind and solar farm will be situated in the Flinders Shire. The project site (approximately 280km²) is a gently sloping region which forms part of the Great Dividing Range. The farms involved consist primarily of cleared and sparsely timbered agricultural land used for cattle grazing. The project will include significant regional investment during construction and operation.

Project details

Location In the Flinders Shire, approximately 290km West of Townsville, Queensland
Present Land Use The area is predominantly used for grazing
Capacity - First phase Up to 40 - 50 MW of wind and 40 - 50 MW of solar
Capacity - Second phase Up to 600 MW of wind and 600 MW of solar
Project cost Not Disclosed
CO2 savings Up to 2.5 million tonnes per annum by the second phase


Project summary

The Kennedy Energy Park project is a phased development of up to 1,300MW of renewable energy generation near Hughenden, 350kms west of Townsville. Kennedy Energy Park will deliver large scale clean and reliable electricity to meet the growing needs of North Queensland without relying on the Copperstring Transmission project.

Queensland is the only Australian state in the national electricity market forecast to grow significantly over the next five years.  AEMO forecasts that Queensland’s electricity demand will increase by up to 25% over this period.  Most of this demand will be in northern Queensland where there is already a paucity of generation.  Unless addressed by the development of generation capacity in North Queensland, transmission losses will continue to escalate adding hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s community service obligation costs. Kennedy Energy Park will meet most of this increased demand with cheap, clean energy, generated locally in Northern Queensland.

Windlab has determined that not only does Kennedy have a world class wind resource, it also has one of the world’s best solar irradiance. On a typical day the solar resource ramps up in the morning as the wind slows down, and in the evening as the sun is setting the wind picks up and continues to generate steady power through the night.  The two energy sources are extremely complementary.

The first phase of the project will be up to 100MW of wind and solar energy connecting to the existing electricity grid.  This will provide more than enough electricity to power the whole of the region stretching from Julia Creek through to Charters Towers and provide excess energy to Townsville and beyond. 

Subsequent phases of the Kennedy Energy Park are designed to include as much as an additional 600MW of wind power and 600 MW of solar power. This will require the construction of a dedicated transmission line connecting the project to Queensland’s east coast high voltage electricity grid.  The scale of the project combined with the continued reduction in the cost of large scale solar will result in an electricity generating solution for North Queensland that will support the required upgrade of the transmission network in a cost effective manner. Upon completion, Kennedy Energy Park will be the largest renewable energy facility in the Southern Hemisphere.

The facility will be a boon for the local economy, creating hundreds of permanent local jobs in the Hughenden region and many more during an extended construction program. The first phase of the project will enter construction in 2016/17 and be operational the following year.

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