Australia turns on battery storage for renewable energy


Avant-garde renewable energy project in Australia utilizes the latest battery technologies to store clean energy and improve Victoria’s energy security

French renewable energy producer, Neoen, will commence construction of its Bulgana Green Power Hub (BGPH), a groundbreaking integrated wind farm and battery storage facility in Australia. Located in Stawell, Victoria, the Green Power Hub will comprise a 194 MW wind farm and a 20 MW / 34 MWh Tesla lithium-ion battery.

As the first agribusiness partnership of its kind in the world, the Green Power Hub will provide Nectar Farms, Australia’s largest high efficiency, hydroponic greenhouse producing fruits and vegetables, with 100 per cent renewable energy. It will use up to 15% of the energy generated by the Green Power Hub, with the remaining 85% going straight into the local grid[1].

Contributing towards Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction

The Power Hub will generate more than 750,000 MWh of clean, renewable electricity to the national power grid each year, making a major contribution to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction. This is equivalent to taking 230,000 cars off the road or planting 1.2 million trees, producing electricity to power approximately 130,000 homes with renewable energy[2].

The project comes at a time when Australia’s commitments to reduce its emissions and accelerate its renewable energy generation have started to gain tailwinds. The Victorian Government committed to renewable energy generation targets of 25% by 2020 and 40% by 2025[3] under the Victorian Renewable Energy Targets.


Tesla’s battery technology to store clean energy

Alongside its sustainability goals, Australia has seen significant energy shortfalls and soaring prices in recent years amid a stretched power sector.

Back in March 2017[4], Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, publicly declared that his company could ease South Australia’s power shortages by installing the world's largest lithium ion battery storage there within 100 days, or it would do so for free. Musk’s bold wager ultimately led to Neoen’s first use of a Tesla battery at its Hornsdale windfarm in South Australia in late 2017[5].

Societe Generale acted as Mandated Lead Arranger, Hedge Provider and Bank Guarantee Provider in the AUD 235m project financing for Bulgana Green Power Hub

We are incredibly proud to be the sole developer of Bulgana Green Power Hub, which will be Neoen's largest ever single-stage project in Australia. Societe Generale’s extensive structuring capabilities and support with the smooth financing of this project has helped make this possible and get us where we are today. There are few projects that we would rather be involved in than one that combines innovative battery storage and horticulture technology with renewable energy generation and, including Nectar Farms, one that will see up to 600 local jobs generated. I hope we can see this model replicated elsewhere in Australia and across the globe,

Franck Woitiez
Managing Director, Neoen Australia

This project marks the fourth transaction that Societe Generale has supported Neoen on in Australia following the Hornsdale Windfarm Stage 1 to 3; we are fortunate to have worked with a firm committed to contributing renewable energy generation for so many years. The Bulgana Green Power Hub benefits from a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with an AAA rated entity, setting precedent for future such transactions. We strive to be a trusted partner of Neoen for more renewable projects and contribute to a sustainable future,

Daniel Mallo
Head of Natural Resources and Infrastructure for Asia Pacific, Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking