Neoen and Zen Energy sign landmark deal

Hornsdale Wind Farm
Hornsdale Wind Farm

French renewable energy producer Neoen and Australia’s Zen Energy have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on renewable energy projects in Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and French President Emmanuel Macron witnessed the signing of landmark agreements today to develop, operate and supply renewable energy at a far lower cost than has been achieved before.

As a first step, a 15-year power purchase agreement for Zen Energy – part of GFG Alliance – to take most of the output from Neoen’s Numurkah solar farm in Victoria.

“We believe renewable energy is a game-changer and both agreements reflect a shared commitment to deliver low-cost, sustainable energy solutions into the market,” Neoen CEO Xavier Barbaro said.

“The switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy is the revolution of this century, transforming our economies and our impact on the environment. Such major change demands sustainable, effective solutions.”

The 100MW project is already supported by a 38MW Green Certificate purchase agreement by the Victorian Government.

GFG Alliance executive chairman Sanjeev Gupta said the purchase agreement would help to lower energy costs at GFG’s Laverton steel works in Victoria.

He said the MOU was an exciting opportunity for the companies to work together to find global renewable energy solutions of even greater scale.

“These agreements reflect GFG and Neoen’s shared commitment to the goals of economic and environmental sustainability that are strongly advocated by President Macron and Prime Minister Turnbull,” Mr Gupta said.

“We see Australia – with its incomparable energy resources – as the natural home for expansion of energy-intensive industry, with renewables to play an integral role.”

Neoen and GFG are already major global producers of solar, wind and hydro energy, and large investors in energy storage through batteries and pumped hydro storage.

In South Australia alone, Neoen has developed the Hornsdale Power Reserve, which is home to the biggest lithium-ion battery in the world; while Zen Energy has announced plans for a 120MW battery nearby at Port Augusta as part of a broader 1GW renewable energy and storage plan.