French renewables giant Neoen is eyeing up over 10 GW of capacity in operation or under construction by 2025, starting with the $3bn Goyder South project in South Australia (SA), which received planning approval for its first stage today, according to The Advertiser.
Neoen’s latest Capital Markets Day announcements saw it set out ambitions to win new projects at a pace of at least 2 GW per year through 2025. If achieved, that will give Neoen more than 10 GW of assets in operation or under construction by year-end 2025, which is more than twice the 4.1 GW Neoen had at the end of 2020.
Neoen’s timed its aggressive strategy well as it has been reported that the first stage of what could be 1200 MW of wind, 600 MW of solar, and 900 MW/1,800 MWH of battery storage has received planning approval. The project, which should create more than 300 construction jobs and rely on the yet-to-be built SA-NSW Interconnector (Project EnergyConnect), is proposed for Worlds End, 18km south of Burra, SA, around Baldina, Bright, and Koonoona, on the traditional lands of the Ngadjuri Nation.
Neoen Australia’s managing director Louis de Sambucy told The Advertiser: “Goyder South will not only support South Australia in reaching its goal of net 100% renewables by 2030, it will deliver income security to farmers, as well as jobs to the Goyder region.”
The project is set to be constructed in three stages, the first of which, now approved, will see 400 MW of new renewable energy under construction by early 2022.
SA Energy and Mining Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said “approval means hundreds of jobs can be created in regional SA, boosting the economy as we recover from the global coronavirus pandemic. Goyder South builds upon the SA-NSW interconnector which the Marshall Liberal Government is working with industry to deliver.
Neoen’s revenues rose by 18% to €298.8 million in 2020 and the company is clearly looking to reinvest its profits. Neoen said that a contributing factor its 2020 revenues “was the strong first-quarter increase in storage as a result of specific, non-recurring factors in Australia.”
Neoen’s Chairman and CEO, Xavier Barbaro, said Neoen’s ambitious plans through 2025 is “predicated in particular on the strong development prospects of the countries in which we currently operate and on the quality of our local teams.”
As a way of ensuring capital for this growth, Neoen will adopt a “farm-down policy of selling full ownership or a majority stake in projects in its secured portfolio.” This marks a moderation in the company’s long held “develop-to-own model” but not a full departure as “assets sold pursuant to Neoen’s farm-down policy will not exceed 20% of the gross annual increase in its secured portfolio.”
The two subsequent stages will depend upon the completion of Project EnergyConnect.
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