AYALA-LED AC Energy and Infrastructure Corp. (ACEIC) and its partner UPC Solar Asia Pacific Ltd. have reached financial close for a 100-megawatt (MW) solar farm in India, according to a press release issued by Ayala Corp. on Monday.

ACEIC’s listed parent firm told the stock exchange that the $67-million (around P3.25 billion) Sitara Solar project located in the desert state of Rajasthan, has secured a 20-year loan from the US International Development Finance Corp. (DFC).

It will be funded through a 75:25 debt-to-equity financing scheme.

Ayala described the project as a “major milestone” for its joint venture company UPC-AC Energy Solar, moving the latter closer to its target of achieving over 1 gigawatts of solar energy across Asia.

UPC-AC Energy Solar is a 50-50 joint venture between ACEIC through AC Renewables International Pte. Ltd., and UPC Renewables through UPC Solar Asia Pacific.

“We are very thrilled with this financial close during the current challenging environment, where we were able to meet DFC’s high standards for environmental and social compliances,” Pranab Kumar Sarmah, chief executive officer of UPC-AC Energy Solar and co-founder of UPC Solar Asia Pacific, was quoted as saying in the press release.

“The project is poised to enhance renewable power supply in India,” he added.

Patrice R. Clausse, chief operating officer of AC Energy International Holdings Pte. Ltd., said that the company was “well-positioned to establish a meaningful presence in India and contribute to its renewable energy goals.”

“These sustainable developments highlight our commitment to support the country’s aim to source over 60 percent of energy capacity from renewable sources in 10 years,” Mr. Clausse added.

Sitara Solar is expected to go online by the first half of 2021, as construction of the farm began last year. The project aims to supply power to the government-owned Solar Energy Corp. of India Ltd., which is India’s sole central public sector undertaking dedicated to the country’s solar energy sector.

Solar capacity in India stood at less than half or 36.91 GW of the nation’s installed renewables capacity, which stood at 90.39 GW, as of November 2020.

In a separate disclosure on Monday, the Ayala group’s listed energy platform AC Energy Corp. (ACEN) said that it is infusing P350 million worth of redeemable preferred shares to its wholly owned unit ACE Endevor, Inc.

ACE Endevor will use the subscription to fund the pre-development and equity funding requirements of its projects.

Last month, ACEN said that its 400-MW solar farm in New South Wales, Australia, secured funding from three foreign banks for the project’s first stage.

Earlier in February, ACEN President and Chief Executive Officer Eric T. Francia said in a media briefing that the firm was looking at a 2030 portfolio mix where local and foreign projects will have equal sharing. He added that the company expected to exceed its 2025 target of reaching 5 GW of attributable capacity from renewables.

On Monday, shares of ACEN in the local bourse shed 4.65% or 33 centavos to close at P6.77 apiece. Meanwhile, shares of parent firm Ayala Corp. decreased 5.42% or P42 to finish at P733 apiece. — Angelica Y. Yang