Kennedy Energy Park is a world-first wind, solar and energy storage facility located in Flinders Shire in central north Queensland. The project is owned by Windlab and Eurus. Construction has commenced and it will be generating by late 2018. Jinko talks to Ecogeneration about their role in the project.

How did Jinko get involved with the Kennedy Energy Park project and what is the project for?

Jinko became involved because of the unique conditions in the area – with high levels of irradiance and high ambient temperatures, half-cell PV modules are more efficient compared to standard panels. Jinko’s strong capacity allowed, for the first time in Australia, a utility scale half-cell project. The goal of the project is to meet the energy demand of the local region stretching from Julia Creek through to Charters Towers by connecting to the 66Kw Caper River to Hughenden transmission line. Ultimately the goal is to construct up to 1200MW of renewable energy in the region.

How will the project overcoming the intermittency associated with solar and wind projects?

The 2MW Battery backup is expected to balance out peak load demand, but the location was also a key factory in determining the location – the wind resource typically picks up in the evening, proving steady generation in conjunction with battery storage. The result of this complementary relationship is highly reliable renewable electricity generation that overcomes the intermittency so often associated with wind energy or solar energy alone. Upon completion, the farm is expected to generate around 210,000 megawatt hours of electricity per annum – enough power to supply more than 35,000 average Australian homes.

How do the half-cell modules work?

Half cells as the name suggest, have had the cells cleaved in half by laser – once assembled into a module there is a reduction in the internal resistance, and spacing between the half cells improves light scattering to capture more light. These two effects can significantly increase the yield compared to full cell modules. Because of this, there is also a reduction in the temperature co-efficient which gives better performance under hot environments.

What makes this project so cutting edge?

It is the first such hybrid utility project in the country, being the first solar-wind project with storage

Is this the first large scale project of its kind that Jinko have been involved with in Australia?

Jinko has been invested in utility scale projects since 2014, when the Royalla Solar farm was constructed. At 20MW it was the largest operational solar farm at the time of construction. Jinko is currently supplying to projects in the 100+MW range.