French renewable energy developer Neoen ended 2021 in Australia by achieving full-scale commercial operations at the Bulgana Green Power Hub, a 204MW wind farm paired with a 20MW/34MWh battery in Victoria.
The Bulgana Green Power Hub suffered from significant development delays, having originally expected to be fully operational by mid-2020 but falling victim to widespread commissioning delays – delays that have been felt across the sector over the past two years.
Located in Joel South, in Victoria’s west, the project consists of a 204MW wind farm, with 56 turbines, and a 20MW/34MWh Tesla battery, and now boasts the capacity to generate 750,000MWh of clean energy annually – the equivalent power necessary to power around 150,000 homes.
Having been operating at limited capacity from the middle of 2021, full operation was reached on December 29, in line with Neoen’s promises.
The $350 million project is supported by a 15-year Support Agreement with the Victorian government – as part of its 50% renewable energy target – which includes an annual $120,000 Community Benefit Fund aimed at supporting local community-building and sustainability initiatives.
“The Bulgana Green Power Hub is another giant step towards Victoria becoming the renewable energy capital of Australia and achieving our target to halve our emissions by 2030,” said Lily D’Ambrosio, Victoria’s minister for energy, environment and climate change.
“We are also proud to achieve Australia’s largest ever annual increase in renewable power, a testament to Victoria’s leadership on clean energy and climate change.”
Victoria’s renewable electricity generation increased by more than 3.2TWh in 2021, with a 32.4% share of the state’s total electricity generation – well up on the 22.7% in 2019 and 26.6% in 2020.
Construction of the Bulgana Green Power Hub also served to support over 150 construction jobs and now supports 5 permanent operational jobs.
Full commercial operation of the Bulgana Green Power Hub also serves to increase Neoen’s growing portfolio of Victorian renewable and battery storage projects.
The Bulgana Green Power Hub joins the 128MW Numurkah Solar Farm and the 300MW/450MW Victoria Big Battery, taking Neoen’s operating Victorian portfolio to 652MW across the three major renewable technologies – wind, solar, and battery storage.
Neoen also boasts a pipeline of more than 2GW worth of renewable energy projects in Victoria which, if all brought through to completion, would meet 10% of Victoria’s annual electricity demand.
“This is a major step forward for our Victorian asset portfolio, taking it to 652MW with a well-balanced combination of wind, solar and battery storage,” said Louis de Sambucy, Neoen Australia’s managing director.
“Connecting our Bulgana Power Hub to the grid was a long and challenging process, but we are proud of having overcome it thanks to the team’s dedication.”