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ACEN starts construction of ‘largest’ solar farm in PH

/ 05:14 AM November 04, 2021

AC Energy Corp. (Acen) has started building a 283-megawatt solar farm in Zambales, touted to be the largest in the Philippines and expected to be completed by the first half of 2023.

This was announced just as Acen’s executive committee approved the ramp up of this project dubbed Gigasol San Marcelino, in terms of capacity.

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Last May, the Ayala group’s power generation arm said P285.6 million had been earmarked for partial funding of the San Marcelino solar farm. It was slated to start commercial operations by the fourth quarter of 2022.

On Wednesday, the Ayala group’s power generation arm said the solar farm would rise on 300 hectares of idle land covered by lahar, and had a potential for expansion to a total of 700 MW.

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“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,” Acen chief development officer Jose Maria Zabaleta said in a statement.

“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,” Zabaleta said.

Gigasol San Marcelino will be capable of producing more than 421 gigawatt-hours of electricity every year, avoiding the emission of 287,796 tons of carbon dioxide a year.

Acen also said the solar farm would feature the latest solar technologies such as east-west oriented panels and string inverters to capture solar energy more efficiently.

Acen’s wholly owned subsidiary, Santa Cruz Solar Energy Inc., which owns the San Marcelino project, engaged Power Construction Corp. of China Ltd. and PowerChina Philippines Corp. for engineering procurement and construction services. The contractors were given notice to proceed on Wednesday.

The San Marcelino solar farm will contribute significantly to Acen’s goal of reaching 5,000 MW of renewables energy-based capacity by 2025, and becoming the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia.

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