Victorian Big Battery drives Neoen’s profit in stunning debut

Surging electricity spot prices in the east coast market have also contributed to profits in the first six months of the calendar year, with EBITDA from Australian solar jumping to €27.9 million, up from €17.7 million, and earnings from Australian wind farms increasing to € 38.5 million from €27.2 million.

Xavier Barbaro, Neoen’s chairman and chief executive, said after the release the battery business was “really mutually beneficial when we make good money because we provide great service”.

Valuable service to the grid

“The good money that we make in Australia is well deserved because we provide very valuable and innovative services to the grid compared to what they had to pay in the past to get the same services from diesel generators.

“There are many things that we do with storage. I mean, we can provide backup to the grid. We can stabilize the frequency of the grid. We can provide inertia, that’s something that we launched very recently,” Mr Barbaro said, referring to the Hornsdale battery generating world-first “inertia” which is normally provided by coal power stations to stabilize the grid.

Neoen’s worldwide group earnings surged 39 per cent to €175 million in the first six months of the year, and it raised earnings guidance.

“The upward adjustments reflect the performance observed in the second quarter, in particular for the storage business, notably in Australia; the pace of progress of the projects under construction; and a favorable market price environment,” Mr Barbaro said.

Neoen stock has jumped 5 per cent over the last week to €42.87, as the results spurred French bank BNP Paribas to raise its target price to €42.5 from €37.8, and US investment bank Stifel to raise its target price to €36 from € 32.

shopping centers

Separately, Westfield owner Scentre Group has inked a long-term green power supply agreement with Queensland’s state-owned utility to cut the shopping center behemoth’s carbon footprint.

The agreement with CleanCo will electrify six shopping centers in the sunshine state from 2025 through to 2030. The agreement set to start in 2024 with the supply of non-renewable energy.

Scentre Group CEO-elect Elliott Rusanow said the power purchase agreement (PPA) would help it meet its 50 per cent emission reduction target by 2025 and was a key plank of its plan to reach net zero by 2030.

Queensland malls set to be powered by green electricity include Westfield Coomera, Westfield Chermside, Westfield Garden City, Westfield Northlakes, and Westfield Carindale. In 2021, these centers attracted 66.5 million customer visits.

Renewable electricity will be provided for Scentre Group primarily from the Western Downs Green Power Hub, Kaban Green Power Hub, and the Dulacca Wind Farm, where CleanCo has power purchase agreements in place.

Mick de Brenni, Queensland minister for energy, and Mr Rusanow agreed CleanCo’s unique remit as a government-owned corporation helped the duo strike a deal.

“This is a great example of how government and private enterprise can actually work together to transition energy needs or energy usage towards green renewable sources,” Mr Rusanow said.

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