ICG acquires majority interest in Ginan Solar Portfolio

cleanco, neoen, Numurkah Solar Farm (ICG)
Numurkah Solar Farm (Image: Neoen)

Infrastructure Capital Group (ICG) has announced it will acquire a majority interest a solar and storage portfolio known as the Ginan Solar Portfolio.

The interest will be acquired from Providence Asset Group (PAG), a developer, investor and manager of renewable energy projects across Australia with a focus on solar and energy storage systems.

ICG has made an initial commitment of $100 million, with capacity to significantly scale the investment further across the development portfolio, co-located batteries and hydrogen. ICG will also look at opportunities beyond the initial development pipeline.

Related article: Goldman Sachs invests in Aussie energy storage

Under the terms of the transaction, to be made by ICG through its Australian Renewables Income Fund (ARIF), ARIF will take a majority interest in 16 operational solar sites in Victoria (total of 132MWDC/73MWAC); with exclusive rights to develop a further 25 solar projects across NSW, totaling a further 156MWDC/115MWAC.

Each site consists of a 5MW distribution-connected solar PV plant. Sub 5MW solar projects provide numerous advantages over large scale projects, including speed of approval, construction, and connection. They also allow for flexibility in deploying various types of energy storage, including hydrogen and batteries.

The offtake from these geographically diverse, small-scale projects, can be aggregated for ‘networked off-take’ under various PPAs. There is already an aggregated offtake agreement in place for ten of the sites in Victoria with Smartest Energy, a leading purchaser of independent generation and supplier of renewable electricity.

The investment also provides ICG a low-risk opportunity to enter the green hydrogen market through LAVO, an integrated hydrogen energy storage system and patented metal hydride storage technology developed by PAG. The operational solar farm at Stanhope will pilot the LAVO hydrogen facilities in Q1 2022, to assess the broader deployment of hydrogen storage technology, and monitor the wider development of the industry.

Opportunities may exist to deploy the LAVO technology not only across the PAG portfolio but also several ICG portfolio companies, assets and future acquisitions.

ICG managing director of ICG Tom Laidlaw said, “We are delighted to be investing in and partnering with Providence Asset Group in what is a unique and scalable portfolio of clean energy generation assets.

Related article: Aussie solar start-up 5B gets $14m funding boost

“This is our first investment into operating solar assets, providing further diversification of the existing ARIF portfolio consisting of wind and hydro. Importantly it also provides the opportunity to assess long duration hydrogen storage applications across ICG managed assets.”

Ginan Solar Portfolio’s current assets in Victoria include solar assets at Echuca, Girgarre, Numurkah 1 and 2, Katamatite, Stanhope 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, Girgarre 2, Wunghnu, Yerroweyah, Bamawm, Pine Lodge and Tatura.

ICG is now invested in operating renewable energy generation assets with a total capacity of 1,166MWAC across wind, hydro and solar assets and expands ARIF’s extensive development pipeline of opportunities to in excess of 2,750MWAC of wind, hydro, solar and storage opportunities.

Previous articleMaoneng gets go-ahead for Mornington BESS
Next articleFour ways to stop Australia’s surge in rooftop solar from destabilising electricity prices