By Alena Mae S. Flores and Jenniffer B. Austria
ACEN Corp., the listed energy platform of the Ayala Group, said Wednesday it started the construction of the P16-billion 300-megawatt Palauig 2 Solar Farm in Zambales province.
“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,” ACEN chief development officer Jose Maria Zabaleta said.
“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,” Zabaleta said.
The project is close to the company’s operating 63-MW Palauig 1 Solar project. The estimated project cost, including the construction of the 1,200 MW transmission line, would be about P16 billion, ACEN said.
Module manufacturer Seraphim will supply the 540-MW peak high-efficiency solar panels. ERS Energy Pte. Ltd. and Global Electric Power Development Corp. are the engineering procurement and construction contractors. ERS is the offshore supplier and GEC is the onshore construction contractor.
Palauig 2 Solar is expected to produce over 450 gigawatt-hours of clean energy a year, and together with Palauig 1 Solar’s 90 GWh output, can sustainably power the equivalent of around 139,000 homes and avoid 350,000 tons of carbon emissions annually.
ACEN said it created around 2,200 green energy jobs in Zambales since the start of the development of Palauig 1 Solar in 2020, helping stir the local economy and improve national prosperity as the country gears up for a post-pandemic era.
Meanwhile, ACEN said Wednesday it would receive 500 million shares in SP New Energy Corp. in relation to proposed joint venture for solar power plant projects with Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings.
The 500 million shares, with a market value of P660 million based on the stock’s closing price on Tuesday, is equivalent to 5-percent stake in SPNEC.
ACEN said in a stock exchange filing its executive committee approved the execution of definitive agreements where it would receive 500 million SPNEC shares from Solar Philippines as pre-payment for part of the loan’s principal and payment of interest and arrangement and security amendment fees in consideration for the company releasing its pledge over shares owned by Solar Philippines in SPNEC.