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Providence Asset Group secures Infrastructure Capital Group for majority interest in solar and storage portfolio

19 Jan 2022

Providence Asset Group [PAG], a leading clean technology investment firm, and Infrastructure Capital Group [ICG] today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which ICG will acquire a majority interest in a solar and storage portfolio, known as the Ginan Solar Portfolio. 

ICG is a leading Australian infrastructure manager with a 20-year investment track record and approximately A$3.5 billion of equity under management with significant energy, renewables, transport and diversified infrastructure expertise. ICG offers Australian and international investors access to Australian infrastructure assets across three funds, including its Australian Renewable Income Fund.

ICG’s Australian Renewable Income Fund will take a majority interest in 16 operational solar sites in Victoria [total of 132132MWDC / 73MWAC]; with exclusive rights to develop a further 25 solar projects in NSW. The acquisition marks ICG’s first investment in operating solar assets, broadening its renewable energy assets.

PAG Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer said the agreement also provided an opportunity for ICG and PAG to incorporate green hydrogen technology into the portfolio utilising LAVO hydrogen energy storage technology developed by PAG. 

We are pleased to be working with the ICG team as they diversify into solar for the first time and look to incorporate new clean energy technology across this portfolio and throughout ICG’s managed assets. Through PAG’s integrated LAVO technology, we offer broad clean energy solutions including long-duration hydrogen storage for a wide range of clients.

The operational solar farm at Stanhope will initially pilot LAVO’s hydrogen technology in Q1 2022 to assess applicability and broader deployment. PAG and ICG will also explore opportunities to utilise the LAVO technology across several ICG portfolio companies, assets and future acquisitions.

Commenting on the agreement, Tom Laidlaw, Managing Director of ICG, 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. 

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.

Tom Laidlaw Managing Director of ICG

Ginan Solar Portfolio’s current assets in Victoria include solar assets at:

  • Echuca
  • Girgarre
  • Numurkah Nos.1/2
  • Katamatite
  • Stanhope Nos.1/2/3/4/5
  • Girgarre No.2 Wunghnu
  • Yerroweyah
  • Bamawm
  • Pine Lodge
  • Tatura

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.

ICG’s investment builds upon a renewable energy generation partnership with Commonwealth Bank [CBA] announced in October 2021. As part of the $33 million project financing agreement, CBA will fund a portfolio of 10 community-based solar farms in regional Victoria.