Construction is underway at Australia’s first utility-scale wind, solar, storage hybrid project in north-west Queensland.
The $160 million Kennedy Energy Park, located near Hughenden, is being developed by Windlab and Eurus Energy.
It comprises 43.2MW wind, 15MW solar and 2MW battery storage.
The project has received support from local businesses, with more than 10 local suppliers already involved.
A number of houses have been rented around Hughenden to house the initial wave of construction staff with much more temporary accommodation being prepared as activity ramps up.
Quanta Solar mobilised to site mid-January and have been engaging businesses to understand what skill sets, services and products are available from the local community.
More than 100 expressions of interest to provide services have been received.
“Renewable energy projects are renowned for bringing economic benefit to local communities and it is pleasing to see we are off to a strong start at Kennedy Energy Park,” Windlab CEO Roger Price said.
“Many of the skills identified and developed during the construction of Kennedy Energy Park will also be invaluable to deliver the planned investment in stage 2, Kennedy Wind Farm and the Queensland Clean Energy Hub.”
Quanta Solar president Charles Wright and Vestas’ Peter Cowling said it was important for both Quanta and Vestas to engage with and utilise the resources on offer from the local area where possible.
“Upon completion of the project, Vestas will commence maintaining the Park under a 15-year service maintenance contract,” Mr Cowling said.
“Vestas looks forward to exploring training programs and workforce requirements with the local community, ensuring the area is equipped with high-tech skills in new technologies for the road ahead.”