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AC Energy begins solar operation in Vietnam

NINH THUAN, VIETNAM— The Ayala group’s AC Energy and its Vietnamese partner BIM Group have switched on their $294-million, 330-megawatt solar farm here, one of the largest in Southeast Asia.

Sitting on more than 300 hectares of land, the BIM\AC Renewables joint venture is expected to generate at least 545 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy yearly.

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This is BIM\AC Renewables’ first project and it is comprised of three facilities with installed capacities of 30 MW, 250 MW, and 50 MW.

Built over the past 14 months, the solar farm relied on sole lender Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. to fund 79 percent of the total cost through a $232-million collateral-backed loan.

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“This is a very challenging project given the timeline, one of the biggest and also pioneering in the region, and we needed an experienced partner that would help put it up,” BIM Group chief executive Doan Quoc Huy said in an interview.

“We are thankful that AC Energy stepped up to be that partner,” he said.

He added that the power complex was now delivering electricity to Vietnam’s national grid and would produce about 600 million kilowatt-hours per year, enough to provide for 200,000 households.

With a laboratory rating of 330 MW-peak, the solar farm has an actual capacity of 243.75 MW.

This project is also AC Energy’s first in Vietnam and boosts the company’s drive toward regional expansion and to rack up 5,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2025.

“This is a very large and meaningful investment for AC Energy,” Ayala Corp. president Fernando Zobel de Ayala said. “Vietnam’s government has been very aggressive in attracting investments in renewables, particularly solar and wind.”

BIM Group is in further discussions with AC Energy for additional projects.

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The two partners are looking at an additional generating capacity at the same site in this province, but using wind turbines.

Based on BIM Group’s study, the area has a potential to host a total of 1,000 MW of capacity, including at least 300 MW of wind power.

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TAGS: AC Energy, BIM Group, Vietnam
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