EconomyEditor's PickAC Energy begins construction of 283-MW Zambales solar farm

November 3, 2021

AYALA-LED AC Energy Corp. has started construction works on its 283-megawatt (MW) solar farm in San Marcelino, Zambales, which the firm touted as the biggest in the country to date.

“The San Marcelino solar farm marks the fifth facility that we have commenced with construction this year, and these project milestones all make for a fascinating period in the expansion of our renewable energy portfolio,” said Jose Maria P. Zabaleta, the company’s chief development officer said in a press release on Wednesday.

The company hopes to complete the project by the first half of 2023.

Once operational, the Zambales facility will be the country’s “largest solar farm,” the company said, which can generate 421 gigawatt hours’ worth of clean power every year and remove more than 287,700 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

The project is owned by AC Energy’s wholly-owned unit Santa Cruz Solar Energy, Inc., which recently contracted the services of Power Construction Corp. of China Ltd. and PowerChina Philippines Corp. for its engineering procurement and construction.

Construction works related to the facility are expected to generate up to 500 direct jobs for workers in the area.

“The San Marcelino solar farm will contribute significantly to ACEN’s goal of reaching 5,000 MW of renewables capacity by 2025, towards becoming the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia,” the company added.

AC Energy did not provide details on how much it has allotted for the project. However, it said in an earlier disclosure that its executive committee had approved to hike its investment in the San Marcelino facility.

In a regulatory filing on Nov. 2, the firm said its management also approved to ramp up the capacity of the Zambales solar plant to 283 MW from 250 MW previously.

AC Energy has an attributable capacity of 2,600 MW in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Australia. It has said the share of renewables in its portfolio stood at 80%, one of the highest in the region.

Shares of AC Energy in the local bourse shed 0.33% or four centavos to finish at P12.20 apiece on Wednesday. — Angelica Y. Yang

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