The Lakeland Solar & Storage project will also be a test case for deliberate “islanding,” where a section of the grid continues to provide power while disconnected from the main grid, according to ARENA. (Photo Credit: ARENA)
- Australia has connected the 10.8 MW Lakeland Solar farm to the grid in Far North Queensland
- It includes a 1.4 MW lithium-ion battery system that can store up to 5.3 MWh of energy
- The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) provided $17.4 million AUD ($13.8 million) for the project that Conergy brought on line for $42.5 million AUD ($33.65 million)
- It is the country’s first large-scale co-located solar and battery energy storage project
- Through the project, clean power will be supplied to communities on the edge of the grid to protect them from blackouts
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Australia has connected its first large-scale solar and battery storage system to the grid. It includes a 10.8 MW solar farm with a 1.4 MW lithium-ion battery system that can store up to 5.3 MWh of energy. Together, the system can supply electricity to more than 3,000 homes and businesses, day and night.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) CEO, Ivor Frischknecht, highlighted that this is the country’s first utility-scale co-located solar and battery project to be connected to the grid. ARENA has funded the Lakeland Solar and Storage project on behalf of the Australian government with $17.4 million AUD ($13.78 million).
Built using 40,000 solar panels, the Lakeland project is located in the Cape York Peninsula, near Cooktown, 240 km northwest of Cairns. The project was commissioned by downstream player Conergy with a total investment of $42.5 million AUD ($33.65 million) in Far North Queensland (FNQ).
“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,” said Frischknecht. He added, “It will also be 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.”
ARENA’s islanding concept aims to protect communities that are at the fringe of the grid from blackouts by powering them with solar energy, even when the sun is not shining. Cape York Peninsula is popular among tourists who go to hike, and enjoy the indigenous culture and natural beauty of the region.
Australia is already home to a 100 MW wind power plant with 129 MWh of battery storage system that was installed by Neoen and Tesla.