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Grid connection for Neoen’s South Australia renewables hub readies site for 900MW battery storage

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Neoen has signed a grid connection agreement for a renewable energy project in South Australia where the company intends to deploy one of its next large-scale battery systems.

A 30-year Transmission Connection Agreement (TCA) was signed with network provider ElectraNet for Neoen’s Goyder South Project last week.

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The project is an energy hub that could potentially include 1.2GW of wind generation, 600MW of solar PV and 900MW of battery storage, around two hours’ drive from South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide.

The first phase of Goyder Renewables Zone comprises a 209MW wind farm, which represents roughly the first half of the first stage of the overall project, with the next to take the capacity to 412MW of wind power.   

Grid interconnection rights are in some ways the most valuable component of an energy project in Australia, as is the case in many other territories. For battery storage, access to the grid means access to wholesale markets for grid services and energy trading and therefore to revenue streams.

However, as reported by Energy-Storage.news as the first phase of the planned AU$3 billion (US$2.01 billion) Goyder South Project won planning approval from authorities in 2021, subsequent capacity additions depend on the progress of Project Energy Connect, an interconnector which would take power generated in South Australia into New South Wales.

The interconnector is being co-developed by ElectraNet and Transgrid, which operates and maintains the high voltage network in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Construction work on the 900km interconnector began earlier this year.

French renewable energy developer and independent power producer (IPP) Neoen began early construction works to install turbines at Goyder South in January. Turbines are being provided by US manufacturer GE Renewable Energy.

In August, South Australia’s state premier Peter Malinauskas and energy minister Tom Koutsantonis visited the Goyder South site to celebrate the project’s progress.

Neoen meanwhile already has a track record for delivering some of Australia’s most significant battery energy storage system (BESS) projects to date.

That includes the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, which was the country’s first grid-scale BESS over 100MW/100MWh, and the Victorian Big Battery, which at 300MW/450MWh is Australia’s biggest project of its kind so far.

Neoen recently reported from quarterly financial figures that its energy storage revenues have tripled, driven largely by its Australian battery storage portfolio, to which it is adding the 100MW/200MWh Capital Battery near Canberra, ACT. The Capital Battery is currently under construction, with Neoen having achieved financial close in October.

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