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ACEN adds $140 million to support 20 GW portfolio strategy

https://www.pv-magazine-australia.com/2022/09/23/acen-adds-140-million-to-support-20-gw-portfolio-strategy/

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The Australian arm of Philippines-based energy company AC Energy Corporation (ACEN) has executed an agreement with the Sydney branch of global financial group MUFG for an up to $140 million loan facility to support the continued development of its large-scale renewable energy projects in Australia.

ACEN, a subsidiary of the Ayala Corporation conglomerate, is seeking to raise more than $600 million as part of its strategic aspiration to grow its renewables capacity in Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific region to 20 GW by 2030.

The company, which already has ~4,000 MW of attributable capacity in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India said its Australian portfolio includes several solar, wind, battery, pumped hydro and energy storage projects across NSW, Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia in development and construction.

“The New England Solar Farm, the first of these projects, is expected to be in operation by 2023,” the company said.

The estimated $768 million project is being developed near Uralla in northern New South Wales (NSW). Construction of the first 400 MW stage of the solar farm and 50 MW/50 MWh battery energy storage system commenced earlier this year.

The 33/330 kV substation takes shape at the New England Solar Farm site.

Image: ACEN Energy

The project will eventually see a 720 MW solar farm co-located with 50 MW/50 MWh battery energy storage. There is also potential for the energy storage system to be scaled up to 200 MW/400 MWh.

ACEN says once the entire 720 MW is installed, it will produce about 1,800,000 MWh of clean electricity each year – enough to power about 250,000 homes.

Other projects in the company’s Australian portfolio include the 400 MW Stubbo Solar Farm and associated 200 MW/200 MWh battery energy storage project in NSW; the proposed 600 MW Birriwa solar farm and battery project also in NSW; a share in the Rise Renewables 250 MW Baroota pumped hydro and 300 MW Bridle Track solar projects in South Australia; and the 160 MW Axedale Solar Farm in central Victoria, which may also come to include a battery energy storage system.

The agreement with MFUG comes just months after ACEN secured a $100 million loan from DBS Bank Australia.

Manoj Bhatia, MUFG’s global head of subsidiary banking, Manoj Bhatia, said the loan facility would support “ACEN’s aspiration towards becoming a leading renewable energy provider in Asia”.

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