Having announced their latest goal of exceeding 5GW in attributable capacity by 2025, the company is looking to significantly scale its renewable energy portfolio in the next few years. The aim is to achieve a balanced energy mix, with a 50-50 split between thermal and renewable energy.
Coming from a modest entry of only 80MW in attributable capacity in 2011, AC Energy grew their portfolio twenty-fold in the last seven years. This robust growth, according to AC Energy President Eric Francia, is due largely from the strategic partnerships formed with developers and operating companies. “It’s been in our DNA to work with partners. That’s how we grew at a rapid pace in the first seven years, we look for complementarities.”
Ayala Corporation President Fernando Zobel de Ayala echoes this sentiment, reiterating that partnerships have always been at the core of Ayala’s success, “Our partnerships are crucial in ensuring we execute effectively and are able to fast-track our projects.”
Part of this growth trajectory was also AC Energy’s transition from an investment holding company into a full-fledged energy platform with development, operation, and retail capabilities. In early 2017, the company acquired Bronzeoak Philippines’ development platform. The platform has a strong track record in renewables and provides operations and management support services to several renewable energy plants.
With their current energy mix at around 1.3GW in thermal energy and 300MW in renewable, Francia emphasizes the urgent need to scale up the company’s renewables if they are to exceed their 2025 goal. “We’re going to need to scale up our renewables investments over 15 times,” says Francia. “While we see opportunities in the Philippines, we think that a lot of that incremental growth in renewables will have to come through international expansion.”
As countries around the region begin to adopt more favorable policies towards renewable energy, AC Energy has identified the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam as the key markets in their regional expansion strategy. The company also recently acquired a renewables company in Australia.
In 2017, AC Energy experienced early success with their first overseas investment projects in Indonesia, which established the groundwork for the company’s regional presence. Salak and Darajat Geothermal, part of the company’s acquisition of Chevron Indonesia’s assets, accounts for a combined capacity of 637MW. Meanwhile, the Sidrap Wind Project, in partnership with UPC Renewables, went on line last March and generates 75MW in power. Sidrap Wind is the first offshore greenfield project of AC Energy as well as Indonesia’s first wind farm.
Last January, AC Energy and BIM Group of Vietnam committed to jointly develop over 300MW in solar energy. That same month, they broke ground on the 30MW initial phase of the project in Ninh Thuan province. Investment for this phase is expected to reach 800 billion VND ($35 million) and to be completed within the year. Aside from the identified countries, AC Energy expects to enter other key markets within the region for other renewable energy opportunities.