French renewables developer Neoen has once again selected US battery maker Tesla to partner with it on another ground-breaking Australian project – the construction of a wind farm and battery storage facility that will help power a regional Victoria farming business.
The wind and battery project, first flagged in mid-2017, will pair the 204MW Bulgana wind farm in Stawell with a 20MW/34MWh battery storage system to generate 750,000 MWh of electricity a year.
Neoen confirmed this month that the project would go ahead, with Tesla to supply the lithium-ion battery packs, and with the backing of a 15-year “Support Agreement” with the Victorian government.
The project – which has been negotiated with the help of the Labor Andrews government – was largely devised to help unlock a planned $565 million expansion of local agribusiness, Nectar Farms.
Indeed, Nectar Farms’ plans upsize its 10 hectare hydroponic glasshouse to 40 hectares hinged entirely on the ability to source renewable energy.
Through the deal with Neoen, 15 per cent of the energy generated by the Bulgana Green Power Hub (BGPH) will be dedicated to powering Nectar Farms operations, with the remainder to be sent to the local grid, via a connection agreement with distribution company AusNet Services.
The details of the “Support Agreement” with the Victorian government have not been revealed, but the plan had been to issue a contract for difference to buy the remaining output from the wind farm.
The project marks another big win for Tesla, whose “world’s biggest” 100MW grid-connected battery storage facility was switched on in South Australia last month, next to Neoen’s 315MW Hornsdale wind farm.