Neoen boosted by PV project commissioning but low irradiation in Australia dampens performance

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Neoen’s 300MWp Cestas solar project in France. Image: Neoen.

French independent power producer Neoen’s 2021 revenue jumped 12% year-on-year thanks to the contribution of new solar projects in France and Argentina.

During Q4, the company commissioned its 208MWp Altiplano plant in Argentina – an install that Neoen said is to be the country’s second-largest solar farm – as well as four PV plants in France with a combined capacity of 31MWp, leading the firm’s full-year revenue to reach €333.6 million (US$379 million).

Revenue was also supported by a stronger contribution from Neoen’s 375MWp El Llano solar plant in Mexico, which sold electricity on the market until its power purchase agreement (PPA) entered into force last July.

The company’s solar performance was, however, held back by unfavourable irradiation conditions and the lower level of market prices in Australia.

In France, the company recently sold two operational solar plants with a combined capacity of 21.7MWp and secured 130MWp in a government tender, split between nine PV projects.

The firm’s total solar, wind and energy storage assets reached 5.4GW as of December 2021, a 32% increase year-on-year, as it won close to 900MW of projects during the year.

“These successes underpin our target of having 10GW in operation or under construction by year-end 2025 and support our short- and long-term growth prospects,” CEO Xavier Barbaro said.

In its results presentation, it was also revealed that the company is on track to reach commercial operations at its 460MWp Western Downs solar PV plant in Australia in Q4 of this year or Q1 2023. Under construction in Queensland, the project is expected to be Australia’s largest PV plant when complete.

In terms of energy storage, 2021 revenue rose 5% year-on-year to €34.4 million, thanks in part to the expansion of the company’s Hornsdale Power Reserve battery energy storage system in Australia to 150MW / 193.5MWh and the contribution of its 300MW / 450MWh Victorian Big Battery, also in Australia, which was commissioned in December.

The company said its 2021 EBITDA was €295 – €310 million, a figure that is set to grow by at least 20% this year. Beyond that, it is guiding for double-digit annual EBITDA growth from 2023 to 2025.

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