Neoen begins Goyder Renewables Zone wind-solar-storage hybrid project in South Australia

Neoen’s 300MW / 450MWh Victorian Big Battery project went online late last year. Goyder will have three times as much battery storage installed, in megawatt terms. Image: Victoria State government.

The start of work on a hybrid renewable energy project combining large-scale wind power, solar PV and energy storage, marks “an important moment in South Australia’s clean energy transition,” the state’s energy minister has said. 

Renewable energy developer and independent power producer (IPP) Neoen said this morning that early stage construction works to build 412MW of wind turbine generation have already begun at the Goyder Renewables Zone, near the town of Burra in South Australia’s mid-north region.

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The wind farm, called Goyder South Stage 1, will utilise 75 wind turbines made by GE Renewable Energy. Neoen gave a notice to proceed to GE Renewable Energy and construction engineering company Elecnor in late December, the IPP said.   

The Goyder project has been granted development approval to host a total 1200MW of wind, 600MW of solar PV and 900MW of battery energy storage. 

South Australia’s Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan Van Holst Pellekaan, congratulated Neoen on “this key milestone for the Goyder South project, which is an important moment in South Australia’s clean energy transition”.

As reported by in March last year as the state government granted planning approval, Goyder Renewables Zone will require about AU$3 billion (US$2.16 billion) of investment. 

At that time, Neoen Australia managing director Louis de Sambucy and minister Van Holst Pellekaan noted that the full project would be made possible by the approval of Project EnergyConnect, a 330kV interconnector build-out between South Australia and New South Wales.

The interconnector would add 800MW line capacity and entail associated works including the construction of 560 miles of transmission network infrastructure as well as a new substation and upgrades to two existing substations.  

Just before the end of last year, South Australia gave approval to the project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Project partners TransGrid, which operates the electricity network in New South Wales and Victoria, and Electranet, its counterpart in South Australia, have said the AU$2.28 billion interconnector will drive wholesale electricity market competition, enabling more low-cost renewable energy to be connected to the grid and accelerating the transition to clean energy. 

Stage 1 of the Goyder project alone will create more than 400 construction stage jobs and 12 full-time permanent jobs, with Neoen “committed to sharing benefits with regional communities” as its long-term owner and operator. 

A 14-year contract for 100MW of the wind energy generated has been signed between Neoen and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government. Neoen is currently also building a 100MW / 200MWh standalone battery energy storage system (BESS) in the ACT and the long-term wind power purchase agreement (PPA) formed part of the company’s winning bid in a recent ACT government renewable energy auction.  

The ACT’s contract with the Goyder wind farm means that Canberra’s electricity supply will continue to be sourced from 100% renewable electricity in the coming years,” ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said. 

“This will allow us to accommodate a growing population, support renewable energy initiatives such as electric vehicles and transition our economy off fossil gas.”

Major construction works at Stage 1 are set to begin in the second quarter of this year, with the wind farm expected to be operational in 2024. 

“This project is possible because of the Project EnergyConnect interconnector with New South Wales, a transformational project that will secure the South Australian grid and allow us to export our abundant renewable energy,” Minister Dan Van Holst Pellekaan said today.

France-headquartered Neoen has become a prolific developer of battery storage and hybrid renewable energy-with-storage projects in Australia.

The company deployed the Hornsdale Power Reserve project in South Australia which kicked off the country’s build-out of BESS projects in excess of 100MW. It has just brought online the Victorian Big Battery 300MW / 450MWh BESS and also the Bulgana Green Power Hub, a hybrid pairing 20MW / 34MWh of BESS with 204MW of wind. Both projects are in the state of Victoria. 

In January last year the company also published plans for its ‘Great Western Battery’ project in New South Wales, which Neoen is tentatively planning to be around 500MW / 1,000MWh, aimed at supporting the local electricity network’s stability which enabling higher shares of low-carbon renewable energy.

Massive ‘Renewable Energy Zone’ (REZ) projects similar in scope or size to Goyder Renewables Zone are being planned in states all over Australia. 

“We are delighted to start building the first stage of our Goyder Renewables Zone, Neoen’s most competitive giga-project. We look forward to building on this strong foundation, adding solar and batteries into the future to deliver firm 24/7 renewable energy,” Neoen Australia’s Louis de Sambucy said today, adding his firm’s thanks to the ACT and South Australian governments for their support.

In his statement de Sambucy also emphasised the role Goyder will play in enabling South Australia to become a net exporter of energy, as well as in helping the ACT to reach its target of net zero emissions by 2045. 

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