Construction of Conergy’s $42.5 million Lakeland Solar & Storage Project has passed the half-way mark, putting the world’s first utility-scale solar and storage project on track for completion in April this year.
Located off the Mulligan Highway at Lakeland in Far North Queensland, the project is the first integrated solar, storage and fringe-of-grid project of its scale, and will demonstrate grid-to-islanding functionality.
The project consists of a 13MWp/10.8MWac solar power PV ground-mounted array (featuring 41,440 solar panels), with a 1.4MW/5.3MWh Conergy ‘CHESS’ storage solution that combined will create a consistent power supply, even during times of cloud cover.
It has been designed to consistently feed renewable energy into the grid and demonstrate the capability for large-scale solar and storage to provide reliable future power quality and supply at fringe-of-grid locations.
When commissioned around April this year, it will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of more than 3,000 homes, and will connect to Ergon Energy’s existing substation – one of the most remote National Electricity Market (NEM) connected substations in Australia.
The project, which is being constructed on approximately 23 hectares of land at Lakeland, is being developed, engineered and constructed by owner Conergy, one of the world’s most experienced downstream solar companies.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has provided $17.4 million in funding support, adding to its portfolio of fringe-of-grid projects that show how renewables can effectively supply energy to regional Australia.
Founded in 1998, Conergy specialises in the development, design, finance, build and long-term asset management of industrial and utility-scale solar power systems. It has pioneered the expansion of solar globally and has completed more than 1.5 GW across more than 300 projects in more than 15 countries.
Conergy Managing Director David McCallum said the final commissioning and connection of Lakeland Solar & Storage Project was expected to follow soon after construction was completed.
“Utility-scale solar and storage, combined with effective management software, is the Holy Grail of the global renewable energy industry, and with this project we are well within reach of it,” he said.
“This landmark project combines the latest developments in solar technology with utility-scale battery storage to feed consistent, quality power into the existing electricity grid.”