AC Energy (ACEN) and UPC Solar Asia Pacific, through joint venture company UPC-AC Energy Solar, plans to build 420 megawatt-peak (MWp) or 300 megawatt-alternating current (MWac) in India within the year.
This comes as the partnership recently began commercial operations of its two maiden solar farms in the country, namely the 140MWp (100MWac) Sitara and 70MWp (50MWac) Paryapt Solar Farms.
Located in the desert state Rajasthan, which also receives India’s highest irradiation levels, Sitara Solar will supply energy to the Solar Energy Corporation of India. Paryapt Solar, meanwhile, is located in Gujarat, one of the first states to develop solar generation capacity in the country.
AC Energy and UPC Solar invested around US$100 million for the Sitara and Paryapt facilities, which are made up of over than 466,000 solar panels which are capable to produce around 358 gigawatt-hours (GWh) annually. ACEN said that this would prevent the emission of 323,990 metric tonnes of CO2e.
The Ayala-led firm added that the milestone was no small feat given the worsening pandemic situation in India, where the massive spread of COVID-19 caused mass devastation, slowed the economy, and disrupted supply chains. To sustain the plants’ development, UPC-AC Energy Solar implemented safety protocols at the site, with the aim to ensure the health and overall well-being of all plant workers.
“Switching on our first two solar projects in India is a major milestone that strengthens our position in India’s renewables space. As we expand our renewables footprint in the region, we remain fully committed in helping India achieve their sustainable energy goals, and aid in the country’s socio-economic progress, especially during these challenging times,” AC Energy International COO Patrice Clausse said in a statement.
“We are pleased to commission these two projects on time and within the construction budget despite many challenges due to [the] COVID-19 pandemic delays and rising material costs. Thanks to the support of our dedicated project team, EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) partners, equipment suppliers and financial partners. With our initial successes on hand, we are aiming to have about [1GW of] operating solar [assets] in India by 2023,” said UPC-AC Energy Solar CEO Pranab Kumar Sarmah.
AC Energy joins the Philippine Stock Exchange index on Monday, confirming it as one of the Philippines’ 30 most publicly traded firms.