ACEN Corp. announced on Wednesday that it recently started the construction of its P16 billion 300-megawatt (MW) Palauig 2 solar farm in Zambales.

In a regulatory filing, the Ayala-led listed energy company said the solar farm will be located within the proximity of ACEN’s 63-MW Palauig 1 solar project.

“This expansion of our Palauig solar assets comes at an exciting time for ACEN’s Philippine operations as we are relying on our core market to boost our energy transition efforts in the region,” Jose Maria P. Zabaleta, chief development officer of ACEN, said in a media release.

The P16-billion estimated cost for Palauig 2 solar farm includes the construction of a 1,200-MW transmission line, and a 540-megawatt-peak (MWp) high-efficiency solar panels, which will be supplied by Seraphim, a module manufacturer that also specializes in solar photovoltaic products.

“Palauig 2 Solar is the first of several new plants to commence with major construction works this year, and the need to sustain this accelerated pace towards the exponential growth of the renewables space is on top of our agenda,” Mr. Zabaleta said.

ACEN tapped ERS Energy Pte. Ltd. and Global Electric Power Development Corp. (GEC) as the project’s engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractors. ERS is the offshore supplier while GEC is the onshore construction contractor.

The solar project is expected to generate 450 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of renewable energy per year.

With the output of Palauig 1, the solar farm can generate enough power to supply electricity to 139,000 households and reduce 350,000 tons of carbon emissions per year.

The renewable energy firm also said that the construction of Palauig 1 solar resulted in an addition of 2,200 green energy jobs in Zambales, “helping stir the local economy and improve national prosperity as the country gears up for a post-pandemic era.”

“As ACEN continues to expand its renewables portfolio across the region, the company continues to invest in people and the wider society it operates in, understanding that ACEN’s success in forging a sustainable energy path depends on its ability to engage with various stakeholders and its significant role to drive positive social change,” ACEN said in the media release.

It said the development of Palauig 2 will help the company achieve its target to increase its renewable energy portfolio and help the government’s goal to increase renewables’ share in the country’s energy mix to 35% by 2030.

“The company aims to be one of the Philippines’ top reliable partners in energy security, effectively harnessing the enormous potential of renewable energy resources,” ACEN added.

In a separate disclosure on Wednesday, ACEN said that it received 500 million shares from Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings, Inc.

To recall, on Jan. 22, 2021, ACEN together with Solar Philippines signed an agreement for a proposed joint venture for solar power plants in Central Luzon.

In line with this, ACEN and an affiliate of Solar Philippines — Provincia Investments Corp. — signed a P1-billion omnibus loan and security agreement.

The agreement has a repayment date of July 2, 2026, and secured by a pledge over shares owned by Solar Philippines in SP New Energy Corp. (SPNEC), formerly Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corp.

ACEN said that its executive committee had approved the execution of definitive agreements where ACEN will receive the shares from Solar Philippines in SPNEC.

At the local bourse on Wednesday, shares in the company gained 15 centavos or 2.04% to end at P7.50 apiece. — Ashley Erika O. Jose