Hobbit Business Review

Ayala-Backed AC Energy Expands Solar Footprint With $293 Million Philippine Project

AC Energy—a unit of billionaire Jaime Zobel de Ayala’s Ayala Corp.—is deepening its investments in renewable energy with the construction of a 300-megawatt solar farm in Zambales province, north of Manila.

The Palauig 2 project—which includes the construction of a 1,200 megawatt transmission line—will cost 16 billion pesos ($293 million) to construct, AC Energy said in a statement to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

When completed, it can produce over 450 gigawatt hours of electricity per year. Together with Palauig 1’s annual output of 90 gigawatt hours, the two facilities can power about 139,000 households and eradicate 350,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum, AC Energy said.

AC Energy has been accelerating the roll out of its renewable energy projects as it pursues its goal of producing 20 gigawatts of electricity from clean energy technologies such as solar and wind power by 2030.

Earlier this month, the company jump started the construction of its second large-scale solar farm in Australia with the awarding of the A$800 million ($567 million) project in Stubbo, a farming community north of Sydney, to Canada’s PCL Construction.

Apart from Australia and the Philippines, AC Energy also has clean energy projects in India and Vietnam. The company is controlled by Ayala Corp., which traces its roots to 1834 when the Philippines was a colony of Spain. The country’s oldest conglomerate started as a distillery in Manila and then expanded into banking, hotels, real estate and telecommunications.

Jaime Zobel de Ayala, 88, was ranked the country’s eighth-richest person with a net worth of $2.55 billion when the list of the Philippines’ 50 Richest was published in August. The older Ayala retired in 2006, and his eldest son Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, who had been the CEO of Ayala Corp. since 1994, succeeded him as chairman.

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