Neoen starts work on South Australia’s largest renewable energy project


From pv magazine Australia

A major player in Australia’s clean energy landscape, Neoen, has secured the go-ahead for the first stage of its Goyder Renewables Zone.

The project now has development approval for 1.2GW of wind, 600 MW of solar, and 900 MW of battery storage capacity, making it South Australia’s largest renewables project.

Neoen CEO Xavier Barbaro described it as the most ambitious project in Neoen’s portfolio. “Boosted by now having 5.4GW of assets in operation or under construction, we are more confident than ever in our ability to achieve our target of 10GW in 2025,” said Barbaro.

However, Neoen is still a while off from realizing the full scale of its Goyder Renewables Zone vision, as it only just commenced construction on the initial 412 MW Goyder South Stage 1 wind farm. The project is set to be completed by 2024 and will connect to the Robertstown substation.

The future stages of the project will only be “unlocked” with the new 800 MW transmission interconnector linking South Australia with New South Wales. Project EnergyConnect is scheduled for commissioning in 2023 and will hopefully be completed by 2025.

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The transmission interconnector will allow South Australia become a serious renewable energy exporter, with the state likely to be running on 100% renewables long before its target of 2030. In December, the state ran for a week on renewables which were significantly curtailed, indicating that the region already has surplus clean energy with nowhere to go.

The Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) government has signed a contract with Neoen to source electricity from the Goyder wind farm. This will allow Canberra’s electricity supply to continue to be sourced from 100% renewable electricity in the coming years.

“This will allow us to accommodate a growing population, support renewable energy initiatives such as electric vehicles and transition our economy off fossil gas,” said ACT Minister for Sustainability Shane Rattenbury.

Neoen is developing the biggest pipeline of utility-scale batteries in Australia by a long shot. The company officially switched on its 300MW/450MWh Victorian big battery in Geelong in December. On the very same day, it announced plans for an 800MWh battery in Blyth, north of Adelaide.

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