AC Energy Inc., the energy unit of Ayala Corp., is expanding its renewable energy footprint to India with plans to develop the 140-megawatt Sitara Solar plant in Rajasthan.
AC Energy is developing its first project in India through UPC-AC Energy Solar, the company’s joint venture with UPC Solar Asia Pacific.
“India is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing markets for renewable energy. We look forward to participating in this market as we continue to expand around the region, and work towards our goal of reaching 5000 MW of renewables by 2025,” said AC Energy president and chief executive Eric Francia.
AC Energy’s total renewable capacity is expected to reach more than 1,200 MW with its latest investment in India.
The estimated $68-million facility in Rajasthan, a desert state with the highest irradiation in India, is expected to start power generation in the first quarter of 2021 and will supply energy to the Solar Energy Corp. of India.
UPC-AC Energy Solar won the power supply agreement for the project via a competitive bid at INR 2.48 per kWh, fixed over a 25-year period.
India set itself an ambitious target of 175 gigawatts of renewable capacity by 2022 in the form of 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from hydro power.
AC Energy International chief operating officer Patrice Clausse lauded the opportunity to strengthen the company’s presence in India with long-time partner UPC Renewables.
“As we join forces once again with UPC, which shares our commitment towards sustainability, we will continue to push for the deployment of new technologies and best practices to harness India’s growth potential for clean energy, while contributing to their renewable energy goals,” Clausse said.
Brian Caffyn, chairman of UPC Renewables, said the renewable energy project pipelines with AC Energy across the Asia-Pacific region would account for a significant part of AC Energy’s 2025 renewable energy capacity target.
Pranab Kumar Sarmah, chief executive of UPC-AC Energy Solar and co-founder of UPC Solar Asia Pacific, said Sitara Solar’s construction was a head start for the joint-venture to achieve its more than 1 GW target of operating solar project portfolio across Asia in a few years.
“This project is expected to reduce 2.4 million tons of CO2 in its life-cycle. This is our humble contribution to help India reach its renewable energy goal,” Sarmah said.
The partnership between AC Energy and UPC Renewables started in 2013 with North Luzon Renewables, an 81-MW wind farm project in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.
Four years later, the two groups invested in PT UPC Sidrap Bayu Energi, the developer of a 75-MW wind farm in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.
The companies recently expanded their partnership with the development of two wind projects, Lac Hoa and Hoa Dong, in the Soc Trang province of southern Vietnam. The project, with a capacity of 60 MW, features the tallest towers in Vietnam.
AC Energy committed to scale up its renewable energy expansion in the region and identified the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, India and Myanmar as key target markets.
AC Energy is one of the fastest growing energy companies with $2 billion of invested and committed equity in renewable and thermal energy in the Philippines and around the region.
The company aspires to exceed 5 GW of renewables capacity and generate at least 50 percent energy output from renewables by 2025.
AC Energy’s power portfolio registered an attributable capacity of over 1.8 GW in operation and under construction, spanning projects in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam as of 2019.