Victorian Big Battery drives major revenue jump for Neoen

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Renewable energy developer Neoen announced on Tuesday its revenue for the first quarter of 2022 was up a staggering 36%, a performance the French company said was largely attributable to the commissioning of the Victorian big battery which was switched on in December.

Neoen, which has established itself as a major player in Australia’s clean energy landscape, posted overall sales of $161.74 million (€109.1 million) for the quarter with storage revenue almost tripling from a year earlier. The company said higher power prices in Australia also helped to boost revenue across its wind and solar PV divisions, where sales rose by 23% and 31% respectively.

Neoen chairman and chief executive officer Xavier Barbaro said the commissioning of the Victorian Big Battery had played a major role in the strong quarter.

“With a capacity of 3.5GW in operation at end-March, up from 2.6GW one year ago, Neoen generated 1.5TWh of green electricity in the first quarter. Revenue was 36% higher than in the first quarter of 2021,” he said.

“This performance was driven by strong revenue growth at all three of our segments – solar, wind and storage, thanks in particular to the commissioning of the Victorian Big Battery, one of the world’s largest batteries.”

The 300MW/450MWh Victorian Big Battery was activated in December, less than a year after construction began and just six months after a fire destroyed two of the facility’s 212 Tesla Megapacks. Located near Geelong, the battery is one of the world’s largest with twice the capacity of Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, also owned and operated by Neoen

Neoen has signed a 10-year System Integrity Protection Scheme contract with the Australian Energy Market Operator for the battery.

Image: CEFC

Neoen, which generates the bulk of its power in Australia, added more than 2GW to its advanced pipeline during the first quarter, while assets in operation or under construction at the end of March were stable at 5.4GW.

The company said it remains on track to achieve it profit targets for this year and up to 2025, when it plans to have 10GW under construction or in operation.

“By the end of the quarter, our advanced project portfolio had expanded to more than 16GW with the addition of over 2GW in projects recorded as early-stage in 2021,” Barbaro said. “Given this portfolio and the unstinting efforts of our teams, we are more confident than ever in our future growth trajectory and are confirming all our targets for 2022 and by 2025.”

The revenue report comes just weeks after Neoen signed a seven-year agreement with energy giant AGL to provide 70MW/140MWh of ‘virtual battery capacity’ in New South Wales.

The first of its kind in Australia, the virtual battery offer will allow AGL to mimic a grid-scale battery, without having to build or own one.

Neoen plans to leverage its 100MW/200MWh Capital Battery being constructed in Canberra to provide the offering.

Neoen Australia managing director Louis de Sambucy said construction of the battery has already commenced and it is expected to begin operating in the first half of 2023.

“With the Capital Battery currently under construction, we will soon be operating grid-scale batteries in three of the five states of the National Electricity Market (NEM) and have multiple projects in development across Australia,” he said.

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