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Energy Insiders Podcast October 27

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The builder of the world-leading wind, solar and battery storage facility in north Queensland says renewables will easily beat coal in costs and flexibility, and relying on a coal-fired grid would make Australia uncompetitive.

Roger Price is the CEO of Windlab, which is building the Kennedy energy park, with 43MW of wind, 15MW of solar and 4MWh of storage.

It’s a world first, and one that Price says could – with the addition of some extra storage – easily meet network demand, much more efficiently than “baseload.”

But in this interview with Energy Insiders, Price raises concerns about the proposed National Energy Guarantee, which he says will create yet more investment uncertainty and cause prices to rise further.

He also says storage does not need to be co-located with wind and solar plants,and might be better placed near the point of demand, and is concerned that policies should reflect and allow that.

And he gives some fascinating insight into how “Big Kennedy”, a massive 1200MW plant west of Townsville, could play a key role in transforming the state’s electricity grid.

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  • Ray Miller

    Well done everyone, especially Rodger.
    It does seem with a little bit of strategic planning very significant cost savings and other benefits for everyone can be achieved in North Queensland. The USO is one area which has in the past seemed like no one could do anything about the costs, which I find had to believe considering all the line losses and distances involved.

    It is very refreshing to hear fresh engineering and economic thinking which is so lacking in Australia. I would like to see the idea of battery storage placed in the lowest distribution substations in the NEM given a detailed engineering and economic assessment. With also a view to mass scaling to achieve economies of scale, not only for the battery systems but with all the control and interfacing equipment needed.

  • Kevan Daly

    There must be something special about the location of the Kennedy Energy Park – like an absence of windless nights or very low night demand on the network it supplies. 4 MWh is only 0.5 MW for 8 hours. Perhaps storage is 40 MWh.

  • Cooma Doug

    Good talk chaps.
    This reminds me of the time the market began. Everything changed. We needed a whole new view of things. Products appear and the appreciation of them becomes more detailed.
    An example of this is the value of the battery. A flat battery is a market product, just as a fully charged battery and if the market rules are appropriate for fast modern technology, the value will be similar.
    Just as the value of Jounama dam at Tumut 3 PS is valuable empty as it is full.
    The battery on full discharge, if the numbers are done well, would make a good deal moving yo full discharge on synergy with FCAS.
    There is more to this game than logic…..
    Market Traders are in disney land.