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Tesla wins contract to supply Powerpacks at world’s first solar+wind+storage project

Last month, it was revealed that Tesla is working with world’s largest wind-turbine maker, Vestas, to deploy batteries at their wind farms.

Now Tesla won its first contract with the company and as it turns out, it’s not only for a wind farm but actually the first solar+wind+energy storage project in the world.

Australia’s Windlab is managing the $160 million project at the Kennedy Energy Park hybrid renewable energy site in North Queensland.

They announced today that they secured financing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and they selected Vestas, Tesla, and Quanta for the project.

They describe the new contract:

“Kennedy will consist of 43.2MW Wind, 15MW AC, single axis tracking Solar and 4MWh of Li Ion battery storage. The project will use twelve Vestas V136, 3.6MW turbines at a hub height of 132metres; the largest wind turbines yet to be deployed in Australia. The Li Ion storage will be provided by Tesla. The project will be constructed under a joint construction contract managed by Vestas and Quanta. The project will take a little over 12 months to construct and is expected to be fully operational before the end of 2018. The project will create more than 100 local jobs during construction.”

They believe this system will supply energy for more than 35,000 average Australian homes and it will serve as a demonstration of combining wind, solar and energy storage at the local level.

Roger Price, Windlab’s Executive Chairman and CEO, commented:

“We believe Kennedy Energy Park will demonstrate how effectively wind, solar and storage can be combined to provide low cost, reliable and clean energy for Australia’s future. The broader adoption of projects like Kennedy can address the recommendations of the Finkel review and ensure that Australia can more than meet its Paris Commitments while putting downward pressure on energy prices”.

It’s actually only one of several phases for what they hope will be 1,200MW of capacity at the Kennedy Energy Park.

4 MWh of batteries is actually a relatively small project for Tesla, especially when considering the massive new 100 MW/129 MWh Powerpack system that they are currently installing in Australia.

But the combination of solar and wind is the interesting part here. If successful, they could end up scaling the energy storage capacity with the wind and solar capacity, which is expected to be quite significant at this site.

Queensland has strong winds, but wind generation in the region is biased towards the late afternoon, which is why it makes sense to add storage and solar to the mix.

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