CEFC backs Neoen 238.5 MW Blyth Battery

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Australia’s green bank, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation has committed a combined total of $99 million (USD64.5 million) to both Neoen’s battery energy storage system (BESS) the Blyth Battery project and the 203 MW second tranche of the Goyder South Stage 1 Wind Farm, both located north of Adelaide but 150 km apart.

Blyth is Neoen’s fifth big battery in the National Electricity Market (NEM), located and will be integrated with the 203 MW second tranche of Neoen’s 412 MW Goyder South Stage 1 wind farm, and linked to ElectraNet’s 275 kV transmission network via the existing Blyth West substation.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said the investment builds on a long-standing support for enabling technologies that will transform the grid and deliver clean energy to households and businesses around Australia.

“By developing additional renewable energy generation alongside the firming and storage capacity of large-scale batteries, we can continue to decarbonise the grid while ensuring stability,” Learmonth said.

“This innovative solution to provide firmed green energy at Olympic Dam enables a significant energy user to progress its net zero goals while producing a critical mineral like copper more sustainably.”

Monique Miller CIO for Renewables and Sustainable Finance CEFC said the strong working relationship between the CEFC and Neoen has now helped finance four large scale batteries.

“The Blyth Battery is one of eight grid scale battery projects which were successful under ARENA’s Large Scale Battery Storage Funding Round, which will also support Neoen to retrofit the Victorian Big Battery that CEFC supported in [2020] to provide grid forming inverter technology.

“The Blyth Battery is the fourth Neoen large scale battery that the CEFC has financed, following investments in the 300 MW Victorian Big Battery, the 100 MW Capital Battery in the ACT, and the expansion of the 150 MW Hornsdale Power Reserve, also in SA. It is the fifth large scale battery financed by the CEFC and takes lifetime commitments in this critical enabling technology to more than $390 million, complementing our extensive renewable energy portfolio.”

Other banks in the lender group financing Blyth Battery and Goyder South Stage 1 wind farm include German-headquartered KfW IPEX-Bank, ING Wholesale Banking, the Japanese Mizuho Bank, and Westpac.

Velibor Marjanovic, Management Board Member KfW IPEX-Bank said the decision to finance the Blyth Battery and second tranche of Goyder South Stage 1 was made out of conviction.

“Our aim is to support the transformation of the economy and society to improve economic, ecological and social living conditions worldwide – which is why we also focus on energy transition projects. With our participation, we are enabling another energy transition project in Australia.”

Xavier Barbaro, Chairman and CEO Neoen congratulated Neoen Australia on completing the joint financing of two assets.

“In Australia, and around the world, Neoen is a long-term investor and owner of the renewable energy assets that it develops. This strong alignment of Neoen’s interest with that of our lenders is a genuine enabler and catalyst for growth,” Barbaro said.

The CEFC has access to $30.5 billion in investment capital from the Australian Government to deliver it’s $19 billion (USD$12 billion) Rewiring the Nation Fund, $1 billion (USD$652 million) Household Energy Upgrades Fund, $500 million (USD$326 million) Powering Australia Technology Fund, the $300 million (USD$195 million) Advancing Hydrogen Fund and the $200 million (USD$130 million) Clean Energy Innovation Fund.

The Blyth Battery project will use Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) batteries supplied and installed by Green Light Contractors and NHOA Australia.

Copper mining offtake

The huge wind and battery project will supply BHP’s Olympic Dam copper mine. The federal minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowan, noted that the project will be large enough to supply the mine with approximately half of its electricity needs.

“It’s great to see clean energy powering mining – bringing together key national industrial strengths in renewables and resources, while creating jobs,” said Bowen in a statement. “The Albanese Government is excited to support a project that involves three vital things for Australia’s future – wind power, batteries, and strategic materials.”

Bowan reported that the project will more than 400 jobs during the construction of the wind farm and 40 at the Blyth Battery.

In its 2023 financial report, BHP said that improved reliability and productivity helped Olympic Dam in South Australia achieve record annual copper production.

The mining giant has a goal to reduce its operational greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030.

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