ACEN commits $800 million for 600 MW solar and storage project


Philippines-based clean energy company ACEN Corporation, formerly AC Energy, said it has committed up to $800 million to build the 400 MW Stubbo Solar Farm near Dubbo in the New South Wales (NSW) central west. The project will also include a 200 MW/200 MWh battery energy storage system.

In a regulatory filing, ACEN said the project would be funded using “any combination of equity, credit support, guarantees and other similar arrangements”.

ACEN, a subsidiary of Philippines-based Ayala Corporation, said it has already authorised its Australian subsidiary to enter into PV module supply agreements for the Stubbo Solar Farm with construction expected to commence later this year.

The project, which was granted development consent by the state government’s Department of Planning and Environment in 2021, will comprise an estimated 800,000 solar modules mounted on single-axis trackers spread across a 1,250-hectare site about 10 kilometres north of Gulgong, approximately 115km east of Dubbo.

The facility, which will be located within the planned Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone, will connect to the National Electricity Market (NEM) via TransGrid’s 330 kV Wellington to Wollar transmission line which transects the project site.

When complete, the Stubbo Solar Farm will generate more than one million MWh of solar energy, enough to power more than 150,000 homes and helping to reduce carbon emissions by at least 600,000 tonnes per annum.

ACEN expects its New England Solar Farm in northern NSW will come online in 2023.

Image: Ingeteam

The Stubbo project is one of several that ACEN has in its Australian pipeline, including the 720 MW New England Solar Farm and co-located potential 200 MW/400 MWh battery being built near Uralla in central NSW, the proposed 600 MW Birriwa solar farm and battery project also in NSW, the 160 MW Axedale Solar Farm in central Victoria, and a share in the 250 MW Baroota pumped hydro and 300 MW Bridle Track solar projects in South Australia.

The financial commitment comes just days after ACEN Australia announced it had executed an agreement with the Sydney branch of global financial group MUFG for an up to $140 million loan facility to support the continued development of its large-scale renewable energy projects in Australia.

The parent company is seeking to grow its renewables capacity in Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific region to 20 GW by 2030. ACEN said this week it currently has about 4 GW of attributable capacity in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Australia.

That total has received a boost in recent days with ACEN following its financial commitment to the Stubbo Solar Farm with the approval of the company’s investment in a trio of solar project in the Philippines, including the 237 MW Giga Ace 8 solar power project in the country’s Zambales region, the 208 MW Naredco solar power plant project in Cagayan, and an investment in a 60 MW solar plant in Pangasinan through the acquisition of Sinocalan Solar Power Corp.

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