AC Energy planning solar farm in Davao Del Sur


AC Energy (ACEN) is looking to develop up to 500 hectares for solar farms in Mindanao, focusing first on Davao Del Sur.

At a forum organized by the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry last week, ACEN President and CEO Eric Francia said the firm is setting its sights on Ayala’s land in Barangay Darong in the town of Sta. Cruz, just off Davao City’s southern border.

Francia said in the same virtual forum that solar irradiance in Mindanao is “excellent.”

Based on the Global Solar Atlas (GSA), has global horizontal irradiation (GHI) of around 1,900 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per square meter annually and a specific photovoltaic (PV) output of around 1,500 kWh per kilowatt-peak (kWp).

Aside from Davao, Francia noted that Ayala also has land it can develop for solar power in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental, around an hour away west of Cagayan De Oro City.

Laguindingan, which hosts the Cagayan De Oro Airport, has a GHI of up to around 2,000 kWh per square meter annually and a specific PV output of around 1,500 kWh/kWp, based on the GSA.

Francia disclosed that the company originally planned its first-ever solar project in Mindanao several years ago.

“We did not pursue the investment because we saw how many coal plants were built in the last decade,” he said.

AC Energy was involved in the building of the 540-megawatt (MW) GNPower Kauswagan coal facility in Lanao Del Norte, which began construction in 2016. Back in March, however, ACEN began the process of divesting from the project as part of its plan to drop coal from its power generation portfolio.

Francia also said the firm has a 30MW battery energy storage system facility in the Davao Region.