AC Energy building Ph’s “largest” solar farm on lahar-covered land

acen solar

AC Energy (ACEN), has begun construction of a 283-megawatt (MW) solar farm on unutilized land covered by lahar from Mt. Pinatubo in San Marcelino, Zambales, which it says is the country’s largest facility of its kind to-date.

Upon its expected completion in the first half of 2023, the 300-hectare solar farm would have the capacity produce over 421 gigawatt-hours of renewable energy annually, and consequently eliminating 287,796 tons of CO2 emissions per year, as part of the Ayala group’s Net Zero commitment by 2050. 

The San Marcelino solar farm, which has an expansion potential of up to 700MW, will use the latest solar technologies such as east-west oriented panels and string inverters to capture solar radiation more efficiently. 

ACEN, through wholly-owned subsidiary and project owner Santa Cruz Solar Energy, has tapped Power Construction Corporation of China Ltd. and PowerChina Philippines Corporation as the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction contractors for the project.

In a separate disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, ACEN said its board approved the increase in the solar farm’s capacity to 283MW from the original 250MW. Back in April, it also said that Php4.5 billion would be invested for the facility.

“The San Marcelino solar farm marks the fifth facility that we have commenced with construction this year, and these project milestones all make for a fascinating period in the expansion of our renewable energy portfolio,” ACEN Chief Development Officer Jose Maria Zabaleta said in a statement.

“As economies reopen and electricity demand grows further, we will aim for sustainable investments to play a leading role in accelerating the greening of the grid to meet our country’s needs,” he continued.

The project is also expected to generate employment opportunities for the province’s residents, as up to 500 direct jobs would be offered during the construction period.

ACEN opened its 63MW solar farm in Palauig, also in Zambales, in late April.