AC ENERGY Corp. (ACEN), the Ayala Group’s power generation unit, has identified possible sites for its offshore wind energy projects here and abroad.
Offshore wind power is “currently one of the new technologies that we’re currently exploring,” ACEN Chief Development Officer Jose Maria Zabaleta said during the company’s stockholders’ meeting Monday morning.
“We have identified possible sites in the Philippines and Vietnam while we’re currently pursuing studies through pre-development work.
In our home market, ACEN has already secured wind energy service contracts for sites in Batangas and Manila Bay. These are, however, medium- to large-term initiatives that will depend on commercial and financial and technical feasibility of potential projects,” he said.
The company is aware of the rising development costs in pursuing power projects. Still, Zabaleta said ACEN would continue to closely monitor any developments in offshore wind technology.
“Energy and material prices are currently elevated while some prospective project sites may require us to build additional transmission lines, roads and others. Nevertheless, we continue to track these new technologies closely, alongside floating and tracking solar through our development platforms in countries across the region.”
While offshore wind power projects take longer to develop compared to solar power projects, ACEN is interested to add more wind power in its portfolio. “Yes, we’re keen to explore offshore wind opportunities in the country. Developing off shore wind will require long lead time, but hopefully we see the first projects to come to fruition within the decade,” said ACEN President Eric Francia.
ACEN continues to grow its renewables portfolio aggressively. In 2021, it more than doubled its renewables capacity in the Philippines to 1000 megawatts (MW). It also increased its international renewable capacity by 70 percent to 1500 MW by the end of 2021, and further added another 800 MW in the first quarter of 2022.
“Today, our renewables capacity stands at 3,300 MW, which puts us in a position to reach our 5,000 MW goal, one or two years ahead of the 2025 target,” said Francia. “We also have a robust project pipeline in the Philippines and around the region, totaling 18,000MW worth of renewables projects in various stages of development”.
The company started the construction of over 500 MW worth of projects in 2021, including the 283-MW San Marcelino solar farm in Zambales and the 160-MW Pagudpud wind farm in Ilocos Norte. Both projects will be the country’s largest solar and wind farms once operational in 2023.
The company continues to expand around the region. It reached 1,000MW of attributable capacity in Vietnam, with the recent completion of several wind farms worth 360 MW of attributable capacity and the recent acquisition of a 49 percent stake in Super Energy’s 837 MW solar platform in Vietnam.
ACEN has raised around P48 billion last year to convert the renewables pipeline into actual operating projects. It is now firming up its 2030 goals, which include expanding its geographic footprint, investing in new technologies, and leveraging strategic partnerships.
“In terms of geographic expansion, the Philippines remains our core market, accounting for 40 percent of our installed capacity,” said Francia. “ACEN is well positioned to accelerate its renewables expansion—especially amid the ongoing energy crisis brought about by global supply issues and the Russia Ukraine conflict.”