Homes and businesses across Far North Queensland’s have begun receiving power from the $42.5 million Lakeland Solar and Storage project on the Cape York Peninsula.
Located near Cooktown, 240 kilometres north-west of Cairns, Lakeland has now become Australia’s first utility scale co-located solar and battery project to be connected to the grid.
The facility includes a 10.8 MW AC solar farm featuring over 40,000 solar panels alongside a 1.4 MW / 5.3MWh lithium-ion battery, which together are capable of supplying more than 3000 homes and businesses.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the project was supported with $17.4 million in funding provided by ARENA on behalf of the Australian Government.
“The ambitious project by Conergy has helped to show the importance of combining storage technologies with large scale solar,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“Lakeland is a demonstration for how integrated solar and batteries can together deliver dispatchable supply feeding electricity into the grid when it is needed, whether or not the sun is available at that moment.”
According to Mr Frischknecht, the project will also serve as a test case for deliberate ‘islanding’, where a section of the grid continues to provide power while disconnected from the main grid.
“This capability will increase the reliability of local supply and pave the way for other fringe of the grid locations,” he continued.
“Solar farms combined with storage are going to play a hugely important role in Australia’s electricity grid in the future.”
Conergy Managing Director Christopher West said the company was excited to have begun delivering reliable, renewable power to residents in Far North Queensland.
“It’s great news for the people of Queensland, and it’s a milestone for Conergy as we bring this facility on line – the first solar and storage project of its scale connected to the grid in Australia,” Mr West added.
“The region is abundant in solar resource, so it’s an ideal place to deliver solar projects like Lakeland.”