Neoen aims to reach 1GW wind and solar by 2020

French renewables company Neoen has revealed plans to install a total 1GW of large-scale wind and solar in Australia, after completing finance for the 109MW Hornsdale 3 wind farm in South Australia.

Hornsdale 3, which is currently under constructions, last year signed an off-take agreement with the ACT government to provide electricity at a fixed rate of $73/MWh for 20 years.

It is one of the cheapest renewable energy contracts ever signed in Australia – below the average wholesale price of electricity in most states in 2017, and was a key part of the ACT government’s 100 per cent renewable energy target for its electricity supply, which it expects to reach by 2020.

When completed, the entire Hornsdale project will total 309MW – all contracted to the ACT government. The project is owned by Neoen, local partner Megawatt Capital and international infrastructure investor John Laing.

Neoen is also building three large scale solar plants in western NSW, totalling 133MW, after winning grants in the large scale solar tender from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, and it has also built a 10MW solar plant at the Degrussa copper mine in W.A.

Managing director Franck Woitiez says Neoen now has 455MW of wind and solar generators in construction or operation in Australia, and aims to develop, build and operate at least 1GW of wind and solar assets.

Last week, Neoen announced that Hornsdale, in co-operation with the Australian Energy Market Operator and ARENA, would undertake an Australian-first trial of Frequency Control (FCAS) services from a wind farm.

The trial will see Hornsdale provide grid stabilising services to the National Electricity Market in reaction to rapid changes in supply/demand and other system conditions that have the potential to affect the stability of the South Australian network.

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Giles Parkinson