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New wind-solar-battery power plant gets approval in Western Australia



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A new wind and solar power project that will also include battery storage has received federal approval under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) and is expected to begin construction later this year.

Renewable energy company Lacour Energy says the US $ 250 million wind farm and solar farm has already received all the required state and federal approvals, and Goldwind Australia has been selected to supply turbines for wind and solar components.

It will combine about 120MW of wind power, 50MW of photovoltaic solar energy and a still undetermined amount of battery storage. It is located near the town of Kondinin in the southern state.

"The location of the Kondinin project meets all the requirements to be one of the lowest cost projects in Western Australia," Lacour director Mark Rayner said in a statement.

"There is a strong wind resource located on the Western Power network with much capacity to connect the project through an existing substation."

Rayner said the final feasibility study will determine the financial model of the project, with financial closure planned for mid-year.

The project, which is intended to include battery storage capacity, was developed as a hybrid project, which means that the costs of network connections can be shared between the wind farm and solar. The wind farm will produce predominantly energy at night, making it complementary to daytime solar energy production.

Other wind and solar hybrids include Emu Downs and Badgingarra, which began production last week. Lacour's other major project is the huge 600-800MW Clarke Creek development in central Queensland, which will likely also combine wind, solar and battery power storage.

Goldwind will supply up to 46 Goldwind wind turbines and will manage the works.

Goldwind Australia managing director John Titchen said Goldwind is pleased to see the Western Power network becoming more accessible.

"Several new wind farms are to be built in Western Australia in the coming years as a result of the progressive reforms of the Western Australian government and the Western Power Interim Access solution being implemented today."


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