French renewable energy company, Neoen recently revealed its plans to create a huge 400MW solar farm near the Western Downs region in Queensland. The company is planning to go ahead with this project after bagging support from CleanCo, the state-owned renewable energy generator.
Reportedly, Anastaccia Palaszczuk, Queensland’s Labor premier, shed light on this move at the Stimulus Summit, which was co-hosted by both RenewEconomy and the Smart Energy Council. The announcement stated that the state had signed a deal with Neoen allowing CleanCo to purchase 320MW of Western Downs Green Power Hub’s output. This would clear the way for construction to begin by July.
Having worked on the world’s largest grid-connected Tesla battery, Neoen currently owns the Hornsdalde Power Reserve located in South Australia. It had bagged the council planning approval for the Western Downs project almost two years ago. However, the company was hoping to commence construction in 2019. While in its latest annual results presentation, Neoen hinted at a massive solar contract.
The project, which is situated 62km northwest of Dalby and 22km south of Chinchilla in the state’s south-west, comes as the company’s second-largest project to be pursued in Queensland, following the Kaban renewable energy hub that intends to integrate battery storage and 160MW near Cairns to the north of the state.
Speaking on the development, Jackie Trad, Deputy Premier, Queensland, said that as the nation’s economy emerges from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, projects like these could play a vital role in creating jobs and stimulating investments, particularly across regional Queensland. The construction of the project is set to begin by July. Meanwhile, the energy generation is scheduled for the Q1 of 2022.
Prior to this news, Neoen Australia had made headlines when it revealed that it had partnered with Mondo Power to submit a joint planning application for battery storage project in Victoria state, Australia worth AUD-300-million.