MANILA, Philippines — AC Energy Inc., the power business of Ayala Corp., is expanding it overseas reach to Australia with an investment in a renewable energy platform to meet its 5,000 megawatt (MW) capacity target by 2025.

The company is investing $30 million to acquire 50 percent of the Australian business of UPC Renewables. It is also providing a $200-million facility to fund project equity.

UPC Renewables Australia is developing the 1,000-MW Robbins Island and Jims Plain wind projects in North West Tasmania and the 600-MW New England Solar Farm located near Uralla in New South Wales.

The Australian firm also has a pipeline of 3,000 MW renewable energy project developments located in New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria.

“AC Energy is very excited to invest into UPC Renewables Australia as it complements AC Energy’s goal to exceed 5,000 MW by 2025. The UPC Renewables Australia platform is focused on large scale projects and is managed by a high-quality management team,” AC Energy president and chief executive officer Eric Francia said.

“The Robbins Island project itself is a very large site and together with Jim’s Plains have some of the best proven wind resources in the world, and the New England Solar project has excellent solar resource within close proximity to transmission” Francia said.

UPC Renewables Australia chief executive officer Anton Rohner said the entry of AC Energy would help the company fasttrack development of its projects.

“AC Energy investment into UPC Renewables Australia will enable us to accelerate projects in Australia. We are making progress on the Robbins Island and Jims Plain project in North West Tasmania and we endorse the prime minister’s recent comment about how wind and hydro are highly complementary. We expect our projects in North West Tasmania to have capacity factors in the order of 50 percent with the turbines producing power nearly 95 percent of the time,” Rohner said.

“The Robbins Island and Jims Plain projects, together with Tasmania’s hydro assets and other new renewable energy projects, will assist in making the interconnectors between Tasmania and Victoria, a dispatchable and significant renewable energy generator into the National Electricity Market,” he said.
This is the third venture of AC Energy with UPC Renewables, which is a long-time partner.

Their first joint venture was in 2013 through the 81-MW wind farm project in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte under North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp.

Both parties also teamed up for the 75-MW Sidrap wind farm project in South Sulawesi, which was completed earlier this year.

Source: Philippine Star