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AC Energy to build solar farms worth P6B

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AYALA-LED AC Energy Philippines, Inc. (ACEN) is investing in more renewable energy projects in the country as it sets to build two solar farms with a combined capacity of 150 megawatts (MW) in Central Luzon.

The energy firm told the stock exchange on Wednesday that it is building the plants with a total investment of around P6.2 billion.

It teamed up with Citicore Renewable Energy Corp., a unit of Citicore Power, Inc., to put up a 75-MW solar facility in Arayat and Mexico, Pampanga for about P3.3 billion. AC Energy will be infusing P500 million to the project, as stated in a separate disclosure.

Another project, also a 75-MW solar plant in Palauig, Zambales, is fully owned by the Ayala unit. The project, which will be constructed through ACE Endevor, Inc. and Giga Ace 8, Inc., is estimated to cost up to P2.9 billion.

“While we are facing significant challenges amidst the current crisis, ACEN remains committed to investing in the country and drive renewables expansion,” ACEN President and Chief Executive Officer Eric T. Francia said.

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“We take the long view when investing, and we also recognize that investments are very much needed urgently to help reignite the economy and create jobs. This is the true meaning of sustainable investing,” the official added.

The projects will bring the company’s total under-construction projects in the Philippines to 480 MW, including 330 MW of solar and 150 MW of peaking diesel plants.

The Pampanga and Zambales power facilities are expected to start generating power by the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, respectively.

Recently, the power company announced that it would infuse P2.2 billion into Bataan Solar Energy, Inc. and Giga Ace 4, Inc. to introduce new energy technologies.

It also plans to expand ACE Endevor’s power generation operations to other areas within the country with a budget of up to P5 billion.

The Philippine unit of AC Energy, Inc., Ayalas’ arm in the energy sector, is accelerating its investments as it aims to become the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia. It targets to reach 5,000 MW of renewables capacity by 2025.

Shares in ACEN inched up 0.74% to close at P2.71 each on Wednesday. — Adam J. Ang

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