AC Energy drops hydro power projects to focus on RE development

AC Energy lets go of hydropower projects to focus on RE developments

AC Energy Holdings Inc. will set aside its hydropower projects and will focus on renewable energy (RE) developments in more advanced stages after selling all its interests in three hydropower companies.

The power company has signed definitive documents to sell its ownership stake in three hydro companies to Sta. Clara Group Inc., the Ayala Corp. disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

AC Energy stripped its majority interests in the QuadRiver Energy Corp., PhilNew Hydro Power Corp., and the PhilnewRiver Corp. – all of which are grantees of hydropower service contracts from the Department of Energy (DOE).

The sale will allow AC Energy to focus on RE developments such as solar and wind projects.

“AC Energy will first focus on solar and wind development, and could potentially revisit hydro in the future,” AC Energy president and CEO John Eric Francia said.

The Ayala power firm currently has three RE projects including the 52 megawatt (MW) Northwind Power Development Corp in Bangui, Ilocos Norte; 81 MW wind farm in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte through the North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp (NLREC); and the 18 MW solar power plant in Negros Oriental, a joint undertaking with Bronzeoak Clean Energy Inc.

Prior to letting go of hydropower projects, AC Energy had 70 percent of the outstanding capital stock of the three hydro companies while 30 percent were owned by the Sta. Clara Power Corp.

In April 2011, AC Energy inked a joint venture with the Sta. Clara Power to develop hydroelectric power projects in the Philippines. The two formed development companies Quadriver, PhilNew Hydro Power Corp., PhilNew River Hydro Corp and Matic Hydro Power Corp.

The Ayala group initially shelled out P600 million to develop run-of-river hydroelectric power projects.

In February 2012, Quadriver broke ground for the 5.2 MW mini-hydropower project in the Cantakoy River at Barangay Cabatuan, Danao town in Bohol.

The project was halted in May 2012 following the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) -Environmental Management Bureau’s (EMB) indefinite suspension of the proposed P1.3 billion Cantakoy mini-hydropower project.

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