ACEN creates opportunities to lower its environmental footprint through the reduction and recirculation of natural resources used throughout the life cycle of its power plants.

To address the large amount of plastic waste produced during solar plant construction, we are working toward making construction sites plastic waste-free by pioneering circular approach initiatives. Through these efforts, plastic waste collected from solar module packaging is recycled into eco-bricks, which are used to build the solar plant facilities.

Currently, all 11 of ACEN’s operating plants under its control  have achieved the prestigious Integrated Management System (IMS) certification as verified by DQS Certification Philippines, Inc., one of the leading certification bodies for management systems worldwide. This includes ISO 14001:2015 certification for Environmental Management System (EMS). Plant employees receive proper training in the implementation of the EMS. All departments will continue to be audited internally once a year to maintain the ISO standards for operational systems.

Read more about how our operating power plants were certified

Repowering of old plants

In 2022, ACEN partnered with PivotGen and UPC Solar & Wind Investments for the acquisition of 136 MW of operating wind projects in various locations across the US. The goal is to repower these wind farms through upgrade and replacement of key components to extend the project’s life and optimizing power generation. This marked ACEN’s anticipated entry to the fast growing US renewables market as it expands its geographic footprint beyond the Asia Pacific region.

Water stewardship

ACEN aims to use water efficiently, transition from freshwater to alternative sources, discharge used water responsibly, and pursue water stewardship to keep watersheds healthy. In 2022, our total water withdrawal reached 220,778,969.16 cubic meters, while Total Water Consumption reached 196,641.19 cubic meters. Water Withdrawal was mainly driven by the cooling water system of SLTEC which draws and discharges seawater from Balayan Bay. Hence, water only passes through SLTEC for cooling. With the full divestment of the SLTEC plant via the world’s first market-based ETM, ACEN’s water use will be significantly reduced. To maintain the marine ecosystem, periodic testing for harmful substances is conducted in addition to water treatment and cooling prior to discharge.

Our exposure to water scarcity is low with 91% of our plants located in areas of low to medium water stress*. The risk of water scarcity is mitigated by our development strategy which focuses on the development of renewable energy of which technologies are generally not dependent on the availability of water for their main operation. Furthermore, our plants have established procedures to monitor water usage, water quality and wastewater discharge. These include conducting periodic water quality monitoring to facilitate regular evaluation of physical, chemical and biological characteristics of identified water segments. Sampling and analysis of water effluents are conducted with the technical support of an accredited third party laboratory to ensure compliance with local regulations.

In our solar plants, rainwater harvesting systems have been installed to serve as an alternative water source for activities such as PV module cleaning and house load needs. These water harvesting systems can collect an average of 751,550 liters across four different solar plants. MonteSol and SacaSol have worked to reduce their water impact even further by utilizing automated cleaning machines. These machines clean the panels with more efficiency and less time. More importantly, they have reduced the amount of water utilized per cleaning cycle from an average of 480 cubic meters to only 69 cubic meters. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, the Darajat Geothermal plant, through our partner Star Energy, continuously optimizes water use by replacing surface water with condensate water for production and maintenance activities.

Waste management

ACEN generated 1,555,588.02 kg of hazardous waste in 2022, mainly composed of used oil and oil contaminated materials from its thermal plants. Our plants implement waste management programs which target reducing solid and hazardous waste generation. These programs aim to decrease the amount of operational costs resulting from handling, storage, and disposal of waste. Plants are equipped with a material recovery facility for proper waste storage and segregation on site. All hazardous waste hauling is conducted by an accredited third party for transportation and treatment in a treatment, storage and disposal

For end-of-life management, we proactively align with the best available practices on PV module waste management. We also partner with EPC contractors that are certified members of the PV Cycle Association, a global industry-based organization that provides businesses with sustainable waste management solutions aligned with the European Waste Shipment Regulation and the Basel Convention. The company adopts the PV Cycle system to ensure proper treatment measures are set in place to cover discarded end-of-life PV modules as well as modules damaged during transportation or installation. The PV Cycle is a voluntary mechanism to implement takeback and recycling programs for PV modules.

For wind projects, we develop decommissioning plans aligned with the regulatory requirements of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR). The content of each decommissioning plan is tailor-made to address the structural specifications as well as the stakeholder concerns of each specific wind project. Possible interventions under the company’s decommissioning plans may include circular approaches to recycling or reusing wind turbine blades to the benefit of adjacent communities. As the activities of each plan shall be performed no less than 20 years from creation, the company will continue to monitor for best practices on wind turbine end-of-life management.

Learn more about our aspiration for excellence in
environmental management as detailed in our ESG Policy.