ACEN Australia, a subsidiary of Philippines-based conglomerate Ayala Corporation, has seen its plans for 8 GW of solar, wind, battery and pumped hydro in Australia draw support from Australia’s federal green bank, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
The company entered the Australian market through its takeover of UPC/AC Renewables, which began in stages in 2021 and is scheduled for completion in early 2023. Once the acquisition is fully completed, UPC/AC Renewables will be absorbed into the ACEN Australia brand.
In terms of the company’s projects, it is currently developing the massive 720 MW New England solar farm and battery project near Uralla in northern New South Wales (NSW).
It is also progressing the 400 MW Stubbo Solar Farm and associated 200 MW / 200 MWh battery energy storage project in NSW, as well as the proposed 600 MW Birriwa solar farm and battery project.
ACEN Australia holds a share in the Rise Renewables 250 MW Baroota pumped hydro and 300 MW Bridle Track solar projects in South Australia, not to mention the 160 MW Axedale Solar Farm in central Victoria, which may also come to include a battery energy storage system.
CEFC’s support comes as part of a $600 million debt raise from ACEN Australia, which in September also executed a loan agreement with Japanese lender MUFG for up to $140 million and a $100 million facility agreement with DBS Bank Australia.
The company says the funds will allow it to expedite the “fully developed” 400 MW Stubbo Solar project, which is slated for construction commencement in January 2023.
ACEN International COO, Patrice Clause, said the finance from CEFC will also help the company reach its target of 4 GW of attributable capacity before the end of. 2022.
ACEN is seeking to grow its renewable portfolio in the Asia Pacific region to 20 GW by 2030. The company has previously 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.
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