AC Energy’s maiden solar farms in India go online

AYALA-LED AC Energy Corp. said on Wednesday that its two maiden solar farms with an aggregate capacity of 210 megawatts peak (MWp) have begun commercial operations in India.

The two facilities are the 140-MWp Sitara Solar plant in the Jodhpur district of the Rajasthan state, and the 70-MWp Paryapt Solar project in the Amreli district of the Gujarat state.

In a statement on Wednesday, AC Energy said that it had invested $100 million to develop the two solar farms along with its partner UPC Solar Asia-Pacific (UPC-AC).

AC Energy and UPC-AC built the plants through joint venture firm UPC-AC Energy Solar, a firm that focuses on the development and operations of solar projects in the Asia-Pacific region.

The two solar farms are made up of over 466,000 solar panels that can produce 358 gigawatt-hours annually, while avoiding an estimated 323,990 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

“The milestone was no small feat given the worsening pandemic situation in India, where the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) variant caused mass devastation, slowed the economy, and disrupted supply chains,” AC Energy said.

In July last year, UPC-AC Energy Solar broke ground for Sitara Solar, which aims to supply power to Solar Energy Corp. of India. The joint venture company embarked on the construction of Paryapt Solar in Gujarat, known as one of the first states to generate power from solar in India.

“We are pleased to commission these two projects on time and within the construction budget despite many challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic delays and rising material costs… With our initial successes on hand, we are aiming to have about 1 GW (gigawatt) (of) operating solar asset in India by 2023,” said UPC-AC Energy Solar Chief Executive Officer Pranab Kumar Sarmah.

For AC Energy International Chief Operating Officer Patrice R. Clausse, the venture marks a major milestone that “strengthens the firm’s position” in India’s renewable energy (RE) space.

“As we expand our renewables footprint in the region, we remain fully committed in helping India achieve their sustainable energy goals, and aid in the country’s socio-economic progress, especially during these challenging times,” he said.

According to AC Energy, UPC-AC Energy Solar is preparing to build 420 MWp more of solar assets in the country within the year.

The listed energy platform of the Ayala group has an attributable capacity of around 2,600 MW in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Australia.

The company hopes to become the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia, as it moves towards its goal to hit 5,000 MW of RE capacity by 2025.

On Wednesday, shares in AC Energy improved by 1.65% or 15 centavos to finish at P9.22 apiece at the stock exchange. — Angelica Y. Yang

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