Industry

The Philippines' Largest Solar Farm Is Being Built in Zambales

It’s being built by ACEN, the renewable energy unit of Ayala Corp.
ILLUSTRATOR WARREN ESPEJO
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Construction has started on what will soon become the largest solar farm in the Philippines, the renewable energy arm of Ayala Corp. announced Wednesday (November 3). 

AC Energy Corp. (ACEN) said the 283 MW solar farm being built in San Marcelino, Zambales is capable of producing over 421 GWh of renewable energy per year. It has an expansion potential of up to 700 MW.  

Target completion date of the solar farm, which is located in a 300-hectare land covered by lahar, is in the first half of 2023. The company said the facility can help eliminate up to 287,796 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission annually. 

According to ACEN, the solar farm will feature the latest solar technologies such as east-west oriented panels and string inverters to capture solar radiation more efficiently.

The company’s wholly owned subsidiary Santa Cruz Solar Energy, Inc. has tapped Power Construction Corporation of China Ltd. and PowerChina Philippines Corporation as the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors for the project.  A notice to proceed construction was issued to the firm on Wednesday.  

"The San Marcelino solar farm marks the fifth facility that we have commenced with construction this year, and these project milestones all make for a fascinating period in the expansion of our renewable energy portfolio,” Chief Development Officer Jose Maria Zabaleta said. “The facility will help address the potential power shortages in the country as energy demand continues to grow.

"As economies reopen and electricity demand grows further, we will aim for sustainable investments to play a leading role in accelerating the greening of the grid to meet our country’s needs,” he added. 

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ACEN has been on a construction spree the last few months. In May this year, the company announced that it has started building the largest wind farm in the country, a 160-MW facility in Balaoi and Caunayan in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. In August last year, ACEN announced two new solar plants with a total capacity of 150 MW was planned in Arayat and Mexico, Pampanga.

The Ayala unit has also set its sights elsewhere in the region, with planned projects in countries like Vietnam, including the biggest wind farm in that country capable of producing 210 MW.

ACEN is aiming to reach 5,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2025 in its bid to become the become the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia.

 

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