The 13 MW Lakeland Solar and Storage Project in Queensland has started feeding electricity into the grid, becoming Australia’s first grid-connected, utility-scale solar and battery energy storage facility.

And while ‘flicking the switch’ to connect Lakeland I to the grid, project developer and owner Conergy announced Lakeland Stage II.

When completed, Lakeland I and II, will deliver solar electricity to the grid and provide local power storage to homes and businesses.

Lakeland Solar & Storage Project was made possible through $17.4m in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

It 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 “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”.

“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 30 MW of local solar generation, with storage. Imagine powering up approximately 4015 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.”

West added that Conergy that “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.”

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