As a renewable energy specialist, Neoen draws on a variety of technologies (solar power, wind power, storage). We have also honed our expertise in energy storage to be able to contend with the intermittent output of renewable energy technologies and contribute to their development. We operate on a vertically integrated basis across the whole life cycle of our power plants, developing and operating them with a long-term strategic vision.
The sun is the most widely available source of energy on earth and the quickest to be deployed. Solar power has been the focus of technological innovation and has seen spectacular productivity gains. Our plants are therefore particularly competitive in many countries. Solar power was Neoen’s first sector and remains our main business line.
Onshore wind farms are a mature source of renewable energy at competitive rates. We use wind turbines in addition to solar energy, where conditions are particularly favourable, on the Australian plains or in some regions of France, Finland and Ireland. We currently focus our wind farm business in these four countries and have several projects in development.
Energy storage is the answer to the volatile nature of renewable energy sources. Prices have been divided by three in the last four years and storage can now be deployed on an industrial scale, opening new horizons, namely balancing supply to the grid, network services and eligibility in non-interconnected markets. As the operator of the world’s largest lithium-ion plant, the Hornsdale Power Reserve in Australia that we developed with Tesla and have been operating since 2017, Neoen is at the forefront of energy storage.
The technical, economic, societal and environmental feasibility of each project is determined during the development stage via surveys of potential, soil and the impact on the environment and on biodiversity. The design enables the project to be set up according to the site and the available resources. During this phase, consultations are held with the parties concerned, including residents, communities, local politicians and authorities.
We finance the vast majority of our projects through a combination of equity capital and long-term loans. Our financing policy reflects our desire to involve local financial institutions, wherever possible. We use mostly project financing, establishing a separate company for each project we develop. Our equity has increased steadily, giving us a robust and sustainable financial base and thus a growing investment capability.
As a responsible construction project manager, we are directly involved in the construction work for the power plants we operate. We ensure that each plant is a sustainable asset, with a life span of several decades. As far as possible, we use the services of local industry.
We keep a close eye on the day-to-day running of our power plants around the world. Supervision and maintenance are undertaken on site, in real time.