AMP Capital has welcomed clean energy investor Providence Asset Group to become a major shareholder in Evergen with an initial $3 million investment to support the development of small-scale hydrogen batteries as an alternative source of energy to power residential homes and businesses.
AMP Capital and global alternative investment management firm Artesian are currently the two largest shareholders in Evergen - a leading renewable energy software business that provides optimisation and Virtual Power Plant software enabling Australia to more rapidly switch to renewable sources of energy.
AMP Capital Global Co-Head of Asset Management and Evergen Chairman, Michael Cummings, said this latest investment will help Evergen stay at the forefront of technological advances in the renewables sector and provide a global opportunity for Evergen to play a key role in the world’s energy transition.
“AMP Capital is delighted by Evergen’s new partnership with Providence Asset Group to enable development of hydrogen battery technology. As countries and communities look to transition away from traditional fossil fuel sources of energy that pose a threat to the environment, it’s essential we continue to explore cutting edge renewable technology as an alternative for households and businesses around the world.
“While it is still early days for this kind of technology, AMP Capital has a commitment to work with our investors to help finance and discover environmentally friendly technologies to power our planet. We know renewables are our future and developing the right technologies at scale will play a leading role in the fight against climate change,” he said.
CEO and Managing Director of Evergen Ben Hutt said: “This investment and strategic alignment with Providence and their related businesses marks an exciting start to the next chapter in Evergen’s evolution. We have been working closely with the team at Providence to accelerate the transition to renewables, and our opportunity to do this at scale both in Australia and elsewhere in the world is enormous. It’s still early for this technology, and current Lithium Ion batteries will be essential for many years to come, but in the long-term hydrogen can be better for the environment and deliver other benefits not offered by current technologies. In the context of the Federal Government’s technology roadmap, this partnership allows us to be focusing on two of the five pillars: Battery Storage, and Clean Hydrogen,” he said.
Hydrogen battery technology
Hydrogen has emerged as a high potential alternative for zero-emissions energy storage, with a large range of potential uses, including supporting the electricity system, as well as for transport and industrial fuels.
The investment by Providence will help accelerate hydrogen solutions and the development of small-scale hydrogen batteries and associated products. There will also be a focus on building consumer centric solutions that can be distributed around the world.
As part of the partnership, Evergen has been appointed as the global software partner on all LAVO & H2Store hydrogen batteries. The LAVO system uses metal hydride technology to store hydrogen equivalent to up to 60kWh electricity, which is enough to power an average household for approximately three days.
The LAVO technology will be used in conjunction with Evergen’s Intelligent Control software that provides a platform to optimise solar and battery energy resources through power trading and distribution, peak demand shaving, and grid stabilisation management services.
H2Store batteries will be deployed on Providence solar farms in coming years, and Evergen’s software will optimise these into Virtual Power Plants with utilities to maximise the benefit of these projects for their communities.
In addition, Providence recently announced a 10-year joint research and collaboration initiative with the University of NSW, forming the Hydrogen Energy Research Centre to find more efficient and cost-effective energy storage solutions.
About AMP Capital
AMP Capital is a global investment manager with A$190 billion in assets under management as of 30 June 2020 and more than 250 investment professionals. AMP Capital has a heritage and strength in real estate and infrastructure, and experience in fixed income, equities and multi-asset solutions. AMP Capital is owned by AMP Limited, which was established in 1849, and is one of Australia's largest retail and corporate pension providers.
Evergen is a market leading renewable energy software business that optimises the performance of residential, commercial, and utility scale battery systems. Batteries are then orchestrated in fleets enabling network operators, retailers and others to use these systems as Virtual Power Plants. This generates significant value for consumers, network operators, and the energy system as a whole. Evergen is a multi-award-winning business that has earned the 2018 Optus My Business Awards Energy Business of the Year and debuted on the Financial Review Fast Starters 2018 list, and now ranking in the top 30 in 2020.
About Providence Asset Group
Providence Asset Group are an innovation led investment firm, financing and managing multiple assets in renewable energy generation, storage and technology. Providence invest by following a patient and disciplined investment approach and funds are purposefully chosen to drive long-term societal value and attractive returns for our fund investors. Providence value collaboration as a key component of business transformation, growth and success. Providence have developed a wide range of strategic partners and capabilities across multiple sectors who are leaders in their fields of expertise, including a 10-year joint collaboration with UNSW founding the Hydrogen Energy Research Centre (HERC), and a five-year joint initiative with UTS to establish a co-branded AI, Data Science-based Smart Future Research Centre.