Providence to pair hydrogen storage with 39 Australian solar farms

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Image: ARENA.

Australian renewable energy investment firm Providence Asset Group is to develop 39 solar farms, each of which will be paired with 30MWh of storage.

The company has unveiled plans to expand into the state of Victoria with five solar operational solar farms and a further six under construction. All of the facilities will feature “advanced hybrid storage technology”, including hydrogen storage and traditional lithium-ion batteries.

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Those plans follow Providence’s announcement last month to invest AU$500 million (US$359 million) on 28 solar projects in New South Wales, all featuring 30MWh of storage.

The company is working with the University of New South Wales to develop hydrogen storage, which it says enables the storage of surplus electricity “more cost-effectively than the lithium batteries currently in use”.

Under Providence’s plan for both New South Wales and Victoria, the storage component could accommodate up to 1.2GWh of clean energy.

Henry Sun, CEO of Providence Asset Group, said the development of hydrogen storage “will help establish Australia as a leader in the evolution of renewable energy”.

“Providence recognises the enormous opportunities that exist in our regions and we’re excited to be partnering with regional communities and offering opportunities for more affordable energy and even local investment. It’s particularly gratifying for us to be making this investment in Victoria at this time, too, which has suffered so badly at the hands of this pandemic,” he said.

In a move to drive the state’s economic recovery from coronavirus, Victoria’s government recently launched a process to explore the addition of at least 600MW of green energy as it targets 40% renewable generation by 2040.

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