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Conergy flicks the switch on Australia’s first grid-connected, utility-scale solar and battery facility in Far North Queensland

Australia’s first grid-connected, utility-scale solar and battery facility – 13MW Lakeland Solar & Storage Project on Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula – has started feeding electricity into the grid, providing certainty of summer power supply for Far North Queenslanders.

While ‘flicking the switch’ to connect Lakeland I to the grid, project developer and owner Conergy announced Lakeland Stage II, following approval by Cook Shire Council.

When completed, Lakeland I and II, will deliver a total of 30MW of solar electricity to the grid and provide local power storage to supply Far North Queensland homes and businesses.

Lakeland Solar & Storage Project, which was made possible through $17.4M funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is located near the town of Lakeland, in the Cook Shire, which is more than 240km north west of Cairns.

Conergy Managing Director Christopher West said as Asia Pacific’s largest downstream solar company, Conergy was excited to be delivering reliable, renewable power to FNQ.

“It’s great news for the people of Queensland, and it’s a milestone for Conergy as we bring this facility on line – the first solar and storage project of its scale connected to the grid in Australia,” he said.

“The region is abundant in solar resource, so it’s an ideal place to deliver solar projects like Lakeland and now Lakeland II.

“Once completed, Lakeland and Lakeland II will provide 30MW of local solar generation, with storage.

“Imagine powering up approximately 4,015 average home air-conditioning units and running them all at the same time for eight hours through the heat of the day.

“That’s the combined production output capacity of Lakeland I and II.  And better still, the energy is cleaner and more reliable for the people of Far North Queensland.”

Mr West said, “We are excited to continue our expansion of solar power capacity in Queensland, in the context of the continuing 50 per cent renewable energy target and the broader Powering Queensland Plan.

“Having locally-based energy generation in these more remote areas reduces power losses caused by lengthy transmission distances from power stations outside the region.

“Extreme heat in summer can also compromise the efficiency of the network, making local, dispatchable generation even more important.

“The summer months are obviously a challenging time for the network, but with the addition of the power feeding in from the Lakeland project, people in the region can look forward to more stable and reliable supply, even in times of peak demand.”

Cook Shire Mayor Peter Scott said the Council was looking forward to working with Conergy again to deliver even more stable and secure power resources for local residents.

“We are very pleased to be able to approve Lakeland stage two, both for the fact that it again improves supply reliability in our region but also because this is an energy solution which is cleaner and sustainable.

“Cook Shire is very keen to continue our commitment to green alternative energy solutions and Lakeland I and now II are certainly an expression of that.”

Conergy ultimately aims to deliver one gigawatt of solar and storage for Australia, on the back of its global development of more than 3GW.

“Australia, and Far North Queensland in particular, have the challenge of a geographically dispersed network.” Mayor Scott said.

“This is what makes the solar and storage opportunity so exciting.

“Cook Shire is pleased to be alongside Conergy at the forefront of this new-generation energy industry.

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