ACEN to invest $15 billion to expand renewable power capacity


ACEN's San Carlos Solar Energy (SaCaSol) in Negros Occidental, the Philippines. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

ACEN Corp., the energy arm of Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp., anticipates investing $15 billion to expand its renewable power generation capacity to 20,000 MW by 2030.

Eric Francia, CEO of ACEN, said that the company is rapidly expanding its wind and solar projects, with some slated for the Philippines, where supply is tight. He mentioned that approximately $6 billion will be invested in the Southeast Asian nation over the next six years.

He said the company will “calibrate the growth” after achieving its 5,000 MW of capacity two years ahead of schedule.

“With rising interest rates, you just need to plan ahead, and when the rates taper, that’s when you step up the gas pedal again,” Francia said. 

Except for the Philippines, ACEN operates businesses in Australia, Vietnam, India, and Indonesia. According to Francia, this diversified footprint enables the company to mitigate risks, including foreign exchange volatility.

Coal plant retirement pilots

On April 17, ACEN and The Rockefeller Foundation announced that the first Coal to Clean Credit Initiative (CCCI) pilot project under consideration in the Philippines could avoid up to 19 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

(Photo: The Rockefeller Foundation)

The CCCI is designed to access carbon finance to expedite the retirement of coal-fired power plants (CFPPs) and transition to renewable energy.

The first pilot project under consideration within the CCCI entails the closure of the South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation (SLTEC) coal plant by 2030, a decade earlier than its planned retirement.

ACEN completed its full divestment from the 246 MW SLTEC in 2022 and is collaborating with the plant's owners to facilitate its early closure as part of this pilot project.

The project aims to replace the plant’s output with clean power and battery storage, while also supporting the livelihoods of workers affected by the plant’s early transition.

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