CBA backs mass rollout of small solar farms with hydrogen battery storage space

Oct 22, 2021 04:55 PM ET
  • Strategies to pilot an innovative all-Australian made hydrogen hybrid battery storage option across 10s of sub-5MW solar farms throughout local Victoria as well as NSW have been underwritten by the Commonwealth Bank.
CBA backs mass rollout of small solar farms with hydrogen battery storage space

Green investment company Providence Asset Group said on Thursday that it had signed a $33 million project finance agreement with the CBA to bankroll 10 operational solar farms in local Victoria, each of which will be fitted with a Lavo Heos green hydrogen energy storage space as well as production unit.

Providence Asset Group, or PAG, is additionally developing a further 29 solar projects in New South Wales, bringing the total portfolio to 40 sub 5MW solar farms across local Victoria and New South Wales, all with a Lavo storage space system.

Providence Asset Group said this week that it intends to test the very first implementation of the introducing hydrogen storage service at solar farm in Stanhope, Victoria, as early as Q4 2021, and then to deploy them gradually across the portfolio over the course of 2023-2024.

As RenewEconomy reported in October of last year, the Lavo energy storage technology is a spin-off of the Hydrogen Power Research study Centre, co-founded by the University of NSW as well as Providence Asset Group, which has been a financial backer of the innovation.

Lavo explains its hydrogen battery as "a solar sponge" that uses trademarked hydride to store hydrogen in steel alloy, therefore allowing the "world's first, long-lasting capture, hydrogen battery within a protected vessel."

The firm, which has likewise targeted houses and businesses for its technology, in January secured a cornerstone capitalist-- ASX-listed investment clothing Gowing Bros-- together with a bulk order for more than 200 of its 40kWh Lavo System devices, predestined to be coupled with industrial solar setups.

Providence Asset Group's deal with CBA builds on its July Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with SmartestEnergy Australia, a subsidiary of Marubeni Company, for the result of over 30 community-based solar farms across Victoria and New South Wales.

Under the terms of that agreement, SmartestEnergy will buy the outcome of the solar farms for a preliminary 30-month duration, with both events planning for a 10-year expansion on the firming PPA at the end of the preliminary duration.

When every one of the solar farms are running, the combined generation outcome is forecast to be around 500GWh a year.

For its part in the strategies, CBA's executive supervisor of natural deposits as well as energy, Neil Fraser, stated the financial institution was specifically eager to sustain the flying of the UNSW-developed Lavo Heos technology.

" This is a pioneering Australian modern technology which has the prospective to be a vital part of the future power mix required to satisfy the demands of a net-zero economic climate," Fraser stated on Thursday.

Providence Asset Group founder and also CIO Alan Yu said it was especially satisfying for the business to be makingan investment in Victoria at a time that had been so challenging the state, because of Covid-19.

" Providence Asset Group is proud to be at the forefront of the power shift in Australia, using the cutting-edge storage space technology of the Lavo Heos with our existing and planned portfolio of local solar farms," he stated.

" Providence Asset Group acknowledges the substantial chances that exist in our regions as well as we're thrilled to be partnering with regional communities to provide more inexpensive and also sustainable power options."