Conergy has constructed one of the largest utility-scale solar PV + storage projects in Asia Pacific. The AU$42.5 million Lakeland Solar & Storage (LSS) project located in North Queensland, consists of a 13MW solar array and a 1.4MW / 5.3MWh Conergy “CHESS” storage solution. The LSS was designed to research and analyze various plant operating modes and demonstrate grid to islanding functionality and the capability of utility scale solar + storage, paving the way for a solar baseload future.
The plant was connected to Ergon Energy’s existing substation – one of the most remote National Electricity Market (NEM) linked substations in Australia. ARENA, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency extended an AU$17.4 million grant. German bank NORD/LB provided a 15-year non-recourse financing facility and Norton Rose Fulbright served as legal counsel. BHP Billiton are also joining Conergy, ARENA, Ergon Energy and Origin Energy in a Knowledge Sharing Program.
Alexander Lenz, Conergy CEO said, “With the demand for reliable clean energy rising in APAC, the success of this solar+storage system is an important development for us. Solar farms have traditionally been built to produce power in the daytime and support demand during peak hours, serving for most part as a peak shaving solution. But with our solar + storage solution, intermittency is smoothened out, providing a dependable and stable power supply that is capable of dispatching energy 24/7. The implications of solar as a baseload solution are tremendous and even disruptive: not only can solar now replace some traditional baseload technologies but with the supply of more predictable and dependable energy blocks during the day and night, solar energy has become even more tradeable, allowing solar investors to achieve a premium in energy markets for their power output and increasing their returns.”