Photographer: Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg

Tesla and Vestas Partner in $160 Million Australian Project

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  • Queensland’s Kennedy Energy Park reaches financial close
  • Solar, wind and batteries combine to deliver smooth power flow

A novel $160 million renewable energy project combining wind, solar and storage technologies reached financial close.

Tesla Inc. will supply batteries and Vestas Wind Systems A/S will supply turbines for the first phase of the Kennedy Energy Park, according to a Thursday statement on the website of project co-developer WindLab Ltd. The project is located in Queensland Australia and will be financed by the Clean Energy Finance Corp. and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

The 60.2 megawatt development will be the first to connect the three renewable power technologies to the Australian grid through a single connection point, once it is completed by the end of 2018, according to the statement. The combination will help provide reliable supplies of electricity, overcoming one of the biggest downsides to intermittent renewable energy generation technologies.

“Renewables are often seen as not so reliable because we can’t control what we produce; Control is what we are addressing here,” Clive Turton, president of Vestas Asia Pacific, said in a phone interview. The first phase could lead to a larger 1.2-gigawatt energy park in the region.

The project in Flinders Shire, in north-central Queensland, will deploy 12 of Vestas’s V136-3.6 MW wind turbines as well as 15 megawatts of solar panel capacity and a 4 megawatt-hour Tesla lithium ion battery, all managed by Vestas’ control system.

Project equity will be provided equally by developers Windlab and Eurus Energy Holdings Corp, and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will provide $93.5 million of debt finance on a long-tenured, non-recourse basis, according to the statement. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will also provide $18 million in the form of a subordinated refundable grant, it said.

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