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 and a key part of our activities. We developed with Tesla and have been operating, since 2017, the world’s first big battery, the Hornsdale Power Reserve in Australia. We now have storage units in Australia, France, Finland and El Salvador.
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 project owner, we are closely involved in supervising the construction of our power plants. We ensure that the criteria are met to enable each of our plants to become a reliable, sustainable and competitive asset. We deal with first-class builders and other suppliers and have extensive recourse to local industrials for the construction work.
As an energy producer, we are particularly attentive to the functioning of our power plants worldwide. They are monitored in real time by our team of specialists and their maintenance is performed by our subcontractors under O&M contracts. In some markets, we also sell electricity ourselves.