AC Energy Corp., a unit of conglomerate Ayala Corp., plans to spend P56 billion this year, up 68 percent from last year’s capital expenditures of P33 billion, to complete new and ongoing projects and achieve its target of 5,000 megawatts by 2025.
ACEN chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala said during the annual stockholder’s meeting the company also increased its project pipeline to 18,000 MW, putting it in a position to aggressively expand its renewable investments.
He said ACEN now has 3,800 MW of attributable capacity in the Philippines and overseas, including 3,300 MW from renewable sources, such as solar, wind and geothermal energy.
“We achieved this notable milestone in the midst of ACEN’s continuing energy transformation journey, which began in 2019. Last year was a noteworthy period, as we added 1,200 MW of renewable attributable capacity,” Zobel de Ayala said.
“We are confident that the integration of our Philippines and international platform in 2021 puts ACEN in a strong position to realize our aspiration of becoming the largest renewables platform in Southeast Asia,” he said.
ACEN will develop 18,000 MW of renewable energy projects organically and with partners. The projects are in various stages of progress, including 1,800 MW in India, 1,600 MW in Vietnam, 8,100 MW in Australia and 6,500 MW in the Philippines.
Zobel de Ayala said the Philippines remains ACEN’s core market, accounting for 40 percent of ACEN’s capacity, with the other 60 percent comes from international markets.
“We remain bullish with ACEN’s renewables growth strategy and believe that there will be sustained growth in renewable energy demand, as the world accelerates its transition to cleaner sources of power,” he said.
ACEN president Eric Francia said the Philippine market is experiencing a tight supply as demand already surpassed pre-pandemic levels.
The electricity spot market’s price reached a ten-year high of P4.82 per kWh in 2021.
“ACEN is actively building renewables capacity to address the supply needs. The company started the construction of over 500 MW worth of projects in 2021, including the 283-MW San Marcelino solar farm in Zambales and the 160-MW Pagudpud wind farm in Ilocos Norte. Both projects will be the country’s largest solar and wind farms once operational in 2023,” Francia said.
He said the company also continued to expand around the region. It reached 1,000 MW of attributable capacity in Vietnam, with the completion of several wind farms with 360 MW of attributable capacity and the acquisition of a 49-percent stake in Super Energy’s 837-MW solar platform.
The company is also constructing the 520-MW New England solar farm, which will be the largest in Australia and the 420-MWp solar farm in India.
“We expect to continue our expansion in these markets and add new ones over time. The company is also beginning to diversify into new technologies,” Francia said.
The company is aso looking into battery energy storage systems, offshore wind and floating solar for expansion.
Zobel de Ayala said ACEN has the financial stamina to support the expansion. The company raised around P48 billion in 2021. Alena Mae S. Flores