AC Energy to add more RE projects to its portfolio

AC Energy president and CEO Eric Francia said the company will work on investing in more renewable energy (RE) projects as solar prices continue to decline.

However, Francia said investing in more RE developments will not be easy.

“Scale is challenging for renewables. When you go conventional, it’s easier to get scale. It’s going to take time but our aspiration is really to get this higher over time. We’ll take 10 percent at a time, take it to 20 percent, to 30 percent until we have a nice balance,” he said.

The addition of RE projects in the company portfolio is a part of the company’s plan to double its attributable generating capacity by 2020. In 2011, the company set a five-year plan to achieve a 1, 000-megawatt (MW) capacity.

“We’re crossing that this year. Now, we’re looking at doubling that to 2,000 MW by 2020,” Francia said. “We’re putting that as our marker, our aspiration for now and then we’ll adjust accordingly whether we can exceed that or if there’s too much supply coming on, we’ll assess.”

Among the company’s three existing RE projects are the 18-MW solar plant in Negros Oriental, the 52-MW Northwind Power Development Corp. in Bangui, Ilocos Norte and the 81-MW wind farm in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.

“Right now, we’re just in wind and solar. We’re bigger in wind than in solar but that can change over time the way solar prices continue to behave, they continue to decline. We expect to do more investments in solar,” he said.

“We want to close that gap. RE is around 10 to 15 percent of our portfolio in terms of attributable capacity. We want to increase that eventually,” Francia said.

Previously, Francia said AC Energy will bridge the cap for its 1, 000-MW target when the 2×660-MW coal-fired power plant expansion of its Mariveles power station begins construction later this year.

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