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ACEN says 700-MW solar, wind plants to run in 2023

BRUNO VIEIRA-UNSPLASH

ACEN Corp. is expecting at least 700 megawatts (MW) of its solar and wind projects to start operations in 2023.

“ACEN is currently building over 1,000 MW of solar and wind projects in the Philippines, of which around 700 MW is expected to start operations within the next 12 months,” Eric T. Francia, president and chief executive officer of ACEN, said in a Viber message.

Mr. Francia said the facilities would help alleviate the supply pressure and also help the country achieve its renewable energy (RE) targets. The Philippines is targeting to increase the share of renewable energy in its energy mix to 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040.

Latest available data from the Department of Energy showed that as of 2021, coal accounted for the biggest share in the country’s gross power generation mix at 57.5%, while the share of renewables stood at 23.4%, followed by natural gas at 17.7% and oil-based sources at 1.4%.

Mr. Francia said that to scale up renewables, the country should incorporate more energy storage in the system.

“It is therefore critical to get the reserve market operational soonest. It is also critical to get the renewable energy market operational, especially given the upward adjustment in renewable portfolio standards (RPS),” he said.

The RPS program requires power distributors to source or produce a fraction of their requirements from eligible RE resources.

ACEN, the energy arm of the Ayala group, announced in 2021 that it was targeting to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through the retirement of its remaining coal plant.

In November, ACEN announced that it completed divesting its stake from a 246-MW coal-fired plant of its subsidiary South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp., allowing the early retirement of the coal plant in Batangas.

The company aims to reach 20 gigawatts of renewable capacity by 2030. To date, it has 4,000 MW of attributable capacity in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Australia. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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