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Ayala building $68-M solar farm in India

The Ayala group, through an affiliate of AC Energy, has started building a 100-megawatt (MW) solar farm in India, the conglomerate’s first major investment in the South Asian country.

The announcement was made just four days after that of a project wherein AC Energy and local partner AMI Renewables would build Vietnam’s biggest wind farm at 210 MW.

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The $68-million Sitara Solar project will rise in the northern desert state of Rajasthan, an area tagged as catching the largest amount of sunlight in India.

With this project being done through UPC-AC Energy Solar, the Ayala subsidiary’s joint venture with UPC Solar Asia Pacific, AC Energy expects its renewables portfolio to exceed 1,200 MW.

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Sitara Solar is expected to start generating electricity in the first quarter of 2021 and kick off a 25-year power supply agreement with Solar Energy Corp. of India.

“India is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing markets for renewable energy,” AC Energy president and chief executive Eric Francia said in a statement.

“We look forward to participating in this market as we continue to expand around the region and work toward our goal of reaching 5,000 MW of renewables by 2025,” Francia said.

Patrice Clausse, chief operating officer of AC Energy International, said the project would strengthen the company’s presence in India as the Ayala group follows through with its international expansion plans in the Asia-Pacific region.

UPC-AC Energy Solar chief executive Pranab Kumar Sarmah said construction of the Sitara Solar project provided a head start for the joint venture to achieve its goal of building across Asia within the next few years a solar portfolio of at least 1,000 MW.

Sitara Solar is expected to help avoid the emission of 2.4 million tons of carbon dioxide throughout its operating life. INQ

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