AC Energy Corp. has begun the construction of its 160-megawatt (MW) wind farm in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, which is set to be the country’s largest wind farm to date, it said in a press release on Wednesday.

The Ayala-led firm said its P11.4-billion “Balaoi & Caunayan” wind farm is its third wind energy development in the northern province, following the 52-MW NorthWind wind farm in Bangui and the 81-MW North Luzon Renewables wind farm in Pagudpud.

It will be building the project in partnership with renewable energy developer UPC Renewables. It added that once completed, the wind farm will be the “biggest of its kind in the Philippines to date.”

“Once completed, AC Energy will double its wind energy capacity in the country,” the firm said, referring to the Balaoi & Caunayan facility.

The farm is slated for completion by the fourth quarter next year and will supply power to the Luzon energy market.

The project will feature 32 wind turbines with a generation of 5 MW each from wind turbine supplier Siemens Gamesa.

For AC Energy Chief Development Officer Jose Maria P. Zabaleta, the project will strengthen the company’s generating capacity and contribute to its renewables portfolio as it scales up its sustainable investments.

“The site of the Balaoi & Caunayan wind farm has one of the best wind resources in the country and its construction marks the culmination of over ten years of development work,” Chief Executive Officer of UPC Renewables Philippines David Sutton said.

“We are grateful for the continuing support of the Ilocos Norte provincial government and the municipality of Pagudpud in helping to bring this project to fruition,” he added.

AC Energy hopes to become the largest listed platform in the region as it targets to reach a net attributable capacity of 5,000 MW by 2025.

It shares improved by 1.02% or 7 centavos to close at P6.93 apiece on Wednesday. — Angelica Y. Yang