Solar power offers a theoretical abundance of green energy to power all our energy needs many times over. However, the availability of solar power is constrained by the rotation of our planet, the weather and seasons. Providence Asset Group (Providence) and Nedstack have signed a strategic partnership agreement to co-develop and deliver hydrogen-based power-to-power solutions for the Australia and Pacific region solar market to offer affordable solar power around the clock with the potential to introduce to Europe market in the future.
Mr. Arnoud van de Bree (CEO – Nedstack) said, “The only way we can power this society on renewables is if we solve the timing issues between supply and demand. To make that happen we need to store energy and we need to renew renewables.”
Hydrogen based Power-to-Power
As the penetration of renewable energy — photovoltaic in particular — increases, integrating it into the grid is proving to be a big challenge. Solar PV generation is, by its nature, intermittent and that is why much of today’s effort focuses on employing battery energy storage systems (BESS). Without batteries, renewable energy is not dispatchable — the output cannot be adjusted according to demand — and this causes problems with the security of supply.
The current battery options, however, are expensive and only economically viable for short-term storage. Providence and Nedstack plan to enhance solar farms by integrating advanced energy storage equipment and AI-enabled asset management systems designed to store the surplus electricity that is generated and then discharge it when required. Providence’s H2Store hydrogen storage technology and Nedstack PEM fuel cell combine to deliver a hybrid energy storage system, utilising both hydrogen and lithium battery technology. Using a hydrogen-based power-to-power system will be an innovation that has the potential to deliver storage for more than 40 hours, way beyond what lithium-ion, lead-acid and redox-flow batteries can achieve on their own. The use of hydrogen technology to store renewable energy in this way and at this scale is a world first.
The patented hydrogen storage solution will come from Providence’s subsidiary H2Store and will consist of vessels that are cost-effective, safe, non-toxic and can easily be recycled and transportable, making them significantly more sustainable than an Li-ion solution. They are also more efficient: storage hydrides have 20,000 charging/discharging cycles with very little power loss, 4 times as many as lithium batteries. What’s more, using hydrogen also provides the flexibility to dispatch renewable energy to end-users in the form of hydrogen fuel.
The use of power-to-power hydrogen technology will unlock the potential for load factors approaching 100% — an extremely efficient and cost-effective way of generating electricity. It will also mitigate the fluctuation of renewable generation and increase confidence in the security of supply. We expect the implementation of an effective storage system will deliver a true dispatch solution in which solar generation can cover supply 24/7 and potentially be used as an alternative to baseload.
The power-to-power system will be controlled by advanced AI solutions, which will use forecast demand and prices — including potential spikes — on the electricity market to guide decision making and optimize the way solar farms operate. This firming of output will also mean solar farms are able to gain more income through firming solar power purchase agreements (PPA) which, in turn, will provide a path to more affordable power for consumers.
Minimum Viable Product Demonstrator
Nedstack will supply a 600 kilowatt rated power PemGen fuel cell power system and will support Providence in the design, development, and deployment of the total power-to-power system on a minimum viable product demonstrator. This demo-site will also use H2store hydrogen hydride storage technology developed within the Providence Group.
Mr. Henry Sun (CEO – Providence Asset Group) said, “The vision for Providence is to build world-class projects, developing innovative and technological-based solutions to drive sustainable advances in production, transportation, consumption, and utilisation of power. We want to improve our environmental and economic wellbeing, fostering healthier and safer communities for future generations.”
During the demonstration project, Providence and Nedstack will optimize the power-to-power system, its AI based control system, and its business model, with a view to scaling up to a multi-megawatt size in the next coming years.
Parties have identified the further large-scale opportunity to develop a multi-megawatt Power-to-Power installation on Australian based renewable assets held by Providence by 2023.
Ultimately the partnership should offer a scalable and configurable extension platform to other solar farms in Australia and the Pacific region that can improve their load-factors and PPA revenues by integrating hydrogen-based power-to-power solutions to their farm. Interested solar farm operators and investors are welcome to indicate their interest in the hydrogen power-to-power proposition and join us on our mission to renew renewables.
Nedstack has committed to invest in Providence Infrastructure Fund in Australia as part of the strategic partnership agreement. Both parties have committed to focus on further commercialization of the developed Power-to-Power concept by means of joint-business development throughout Australia and the Pacific region extending to South-Eat Asia.
Nedstack will support the further development and commercialization of the Providence H2Store domestic fuel cell power system towards the European market.
About Providence Asset Group
Providence Asset Group is an innovation-led investment firm based in Sydney, Australia, financing, developing and managing multiple assets in renewable energy generation, storage and technology. The Group investment mission is to “TO EMPOWER A SUSTAINABLE PLANET” with the vision “TO BE AUSTRALIA’S LEADING INVESTMENT FIRM FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY DRIVING INNOVATION TO ACCELERATE A SUSTAINABLE & PROSPEROUS FUTURE” .
Nedstack is a Dutch manufacturer of PEM Fuel cell power solutions for heavy-duty and long-life applications. Nedstack was founded in 1999 and is incorporated in Arnhem, the Netherlands.