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Business

ACEN eyes development of floating solar, offshore wind projects

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — ACEN Corp., the energy platform of the Ayala Group, is exploring the development of floating solar and offshore wind power projects locally and abroad as it continues to build its renewables capacity.

During the company’s stockholders’ meeting yesterday, ACEN president and CEO Eric Francia said the company is further diversifying into new technologies, such as floating solar and offshore wind.

“We believe that these technologies will become more competitive over time and provide alternative sites for geographies with land challenges,” he said.

ACEN chief development officer Jose Maria Zabaleta said the company has already identified possible sites in the Philippines and Vietnam, “where we’re currently pursuing studies and pre-development work.”

At home, the company has already secured wind energy service contracts for sites in Batangas and Manila Bay.

“These are, however, medium- to long-term initiatives that will depend on commercial and financial and tech feasibility of the potential projects,” Zabaleta said.

“Energy and material prices are currently elevated while some prospective project sites may require us to build additional transmission lines, roads, and others,” he said.

Apart from offshore wind, ACEN is also exploring the development of new technologies such as floating and tracking solar.

“We continue to track these new technologies closely alongside floating and tracking solar through our development platforms in countries across the region,” Zabaleta said.

ACEN ventured into battery energy storage systems (BESS) to complement its solar and wind projects to help manage their intermittency.

“In 2021, we started the operations of our first battery storage project, the 40-megawatt (MW) Alaminos project that complements the 120 MW solar plant. We also started the construction of a 15-megawatt-hour (MWh) battery storage project in Vietnam. This is a pilot utility-scale project supported by the US government,” he said.

To date, ACEN has 3,800 MW of attributable capacity both in the Philippines and internationally. Of the total, 3,300 MW comprise renewable sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal energy.

This puts the company in a position to reach its 5,000-MW goal “one or two years ahead of the 2025 target,” especially as it increased its project pipeline to 18,000 MW, Francia said.

The massive project pipeline is in various stages of progress, being developed organically and with partners. Of the total, 8,100 MW are in Australia, 6,500 MW in the Philippines, 1,600 in Vietnam and 1,800 MW in India and other markets.

“We remain bullish with ACEN’s renewables growth strategy, and believe that there will be sustained growth in renewable energy demand as the world accelerates its transition to cleaner sources of power,” ACEN chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala said.

To develop this massive pipeline, ACEN has raised P48 billion from various capital raising activities last year.

ACEN earlier announced plans to invest P55.5 billion to further expand renewables portfolio, a 68 percent increase from P33.1 billion last year.

The company is eyeing to become the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia.

ACEN

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