ACEN’s $100 million funding deal boosts 20 GW portfolio plans

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AC Energy Corporation (ACEN) Australia, a subsidiary of Philippines-based conglomerate Ayala Corporation, announced on Thursday it had executed an agreement with multinational financial services corporation DBS Bank Australia for a $100 million revolving loan facility which it will use to “aggressively grow” its renewable energy investments in Australia.

ACEN Australia chief executive Anton Rohner said the long-term loan will provide capital financing for the group’s eligible green assets in Australia as part of its strategic aspiration to be the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia by the end of the decade.

“The initial green loan facility with DBS will help advance our fund-raising capacity of over $600 million in Australia to develop and construct existing and additional pipeline of renewable energy projects in Australia,” he said.

ACEN is seeking to grow its renewables capacity in the Asia Pacific region to 20 GW by 2030. The company said it will focus on solar and wind projects but will also investigate investment opportunities in other renewable technologies including battery energy storage, floating solar, and offshore wind.

The company said the Philippines will remain its core market but it plans to “aggressively grow its investments in Australia” which is expected to be its second largest market within the decade. ACEN said it will also continue to grow its presence in Vietnam, Indonesia and India.

The 120 MW Alaminos Solar Farm is among ACEN’s renewable assets in the Philippines.

Image: Ayala

ACEN chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala said the company is committed to growing its renewables platform to reach its 20 GW target.

“It is an aggressive goal, though we believe that we have the right elements to succeed,” he said. “We have a strong balance sheet, robust pipeline, strong partnerships, and a highly energised organisation.”

The company, which already has ~4,000 MW of attributable capacity in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Australia, has 18 GW pipeline of renewable energy projects across the region including the massive New England solar farm and battery project being developed near Uralla in northern New South Wales.

The $768 million project will eventually see a 720 MW solar farm co-located with a 50MW/50MWh battery energy storage system. Construction of the first 400 MW stage of the solar project is already underway and is slated for completion in 2023. Work has also commenced on the lithium-ion battery which has scope to be scaled up to 200 MW/400 MWh in the future.

Other projects in the company’s Australian portfolio include the 400MW Stubbo Solar Farm and associated 200 MW/200 MWh battery energy storage project in NSW; the proposed 600 MW Birriwa solar farm and battery project also in NSW; a share in the Rise Renewables 250MW Baroota pumped hydro and 300MW Bridle Track solar projects in South Australia; and the 160 MW Axedale Solar Farm in central Victoria, which may also come to include a battery energy storage system.

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