Neoen (ISIN: FR0011675362, Ticker: NEOEN), one of the world’s leading producers of exclusively renewable energy, has transferred ownership and management of the Worlds End Gorge to South Australia’s (SA) Department of Environment and Water. This significant milestone will lead to the creation of a new national park, preserving a scenic and environmentally rich area with multiple permanent waterholes in the dry region of ‘Goyder’s Line’ in SA’s Mid North. This innovative approach is a true first for the renewable energy industry in Australia.
Neoen purchased the land from private landholders, David and Jo Gebhardt, to meet its native vegetation offset requirements for the 412 MW Goyder South Stage 1 wind farm. Extensive community engagement and the project team’s commitment to conservation enabled them to identify this opportunity and go “above & beyond” in their environmental strategy.
In 2019, Neoen undertook a competitive tender process to find the right partner for managing the land and the offsets. This was awarded to the SA Government, who proposed to combine Neoen’s 1,000 hectares of land at Worlds End Gorge with 600 hectares of the adjacent Hopkins Creek Conservation Park. The new national park will protect several threatened species of flora and fauna such as the Pygmy Blue Tongue Lizard and the Flinders Ranges Worm-lizard.
This initiative has involved ongoing collaboration between Neoen, former landowners, the Ngadjuri Nation, SA’s Department of Environment and Water and the Regional Council of Goyder. A Community Reference Group will be established to finalise plans for managing the national park and its visitor access. Neoen will support the park’s conservation activities for a period of 30 years, which is the minimum operational lifespan of Goyder South Stage 1.
This project milestone follows Neoen’s signing of its first baseload contract with BHP in December 2022, which commits the supply of renewable energy 24/7 from Goyder South Stage 1 and 238 MW / 477 MWh Blyth Battery to power operations at Olympic Dam. Once operational, Goyder will be the largest wind farm in Neoen’s global portfolio.
Goyder South Stage 1 is the first phase of Neoen’s flagship project known as Goyder Renewables Zone, a hybrid wind, solar and storage project. Goyder South has development approval for a total of 1200 MW of wind generation, 600 MW of solar generation and 900 MW of battery storage capacity, making it South Australia’s largest renewable project.
Tom Jenkins, Neoen Australia’s State Leader for South Australia, said: “The national park at Worlds End Gorge echoes, on a local scale, the values of environmental protection and stewardship that Neoen stands for globally. It has been an immense privilege for us to have played a part in this legacy project, and I extend my sincere thanks to our partners in the South Australian Government, Ngadjuri Nation and the Goyder Council for sharing our vision.”
Susan Close MP, Government of South Australia’s Deputy Premier and Minister for Climate, Environment and Water added: “The signing of this land transfer marks an exciting opportunity to protect an important biodiversity and cultural asset, and to create new opportunities for locals and visitors to experience a beautiful natural area. We will continue to work with Neoen and the local community towards creating a national park which will be a unique and valuable biodiversity asset for the Mid North.”
Pat Waria-Read, Ngadjuri Nation Aboriginal Corporation’s Deputy Chairperson, commented: “We lived on this land for a very long time before settlement. But after the settlement, we were taken off. When I look at this country, it makes me feel like I am home. It gives me the connection – the link to my spiritual place. We, the Ngadjuri Nation, hope that we can share the responsibility of this land with the landowners, with Neoen, and with the Parks people, and that we work in partnership with each other to open up this area.”
Louis de Sambucy, Neoen Australia’s CEO, concluded: “Neoen is proud to be supporting the creation of the new national park on Ngadjuri country at Worlds End Gorge, with funding from our Goyder South project and in close partnership with the South Australian Government. The Gorge is a rare and beautiful place, and we are thrilled that it will be protected and enjoyed by the local community, Traditional Owners and future generations of Australians.”
Founded in 2008, Neoen is one of the world’s leading independent producers of exclusively renewable energy. With expertise in solar power, wind power and storage, the company plays an active role in the energy transition by producing competitive, green, local energy on four continents. After a six-fold increase in the last six years, its capacity in operation and under construction stands at over 7.2 GW.
Neoen’s flagship operations are France’s most powerful solar farm (375 MWp) in Cestas, Finland’s largest wind farm (404 MW) in Mutkalampi, one of the world’s most competitive solar plants in Mexico (El Llano, 375 MWp) and two of the world’s most powerful large-scale storage plants, both in Australia: Hornsdale Power Reserve (150 MW/193.5 MWh storage capacity) and the Victorian Big Battery (300 MW/450 MWh).
A high-growth company, Neoen is targeting 10 GW in operation or under construction by the end of 2025. Neoen is listed in Compartment A of Euronext’s regulated market in Paris (ISIN code: FR0011675362, Ticker: NEOEN) on the SBF 120 and CAC Mid 60 indexes.