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ACEN, new partners plan to acquire US wind farms

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AC Energy Corp. (ACEN) said on Tuesday that its board had approved the Ayala-led energy platform’s plan to seek opportunities in the renewable energy market of the United States.

“Our aspiration is for the US to become a priority market for ACEN outside of Philippines over time,” Patrice Clausse, president and chief operating officer of ACEN’s international business, said in a stock exchange disclosure.

The US entry is through a partnership with UPC Solar & Wind Investments LLC and Pivot Power Management (PPM), the Ayala group’s energy arm said.

The partners intend to acquire operating wind projects in the US while exploring strategies to extend their useful life through preventive maintenance and re-powering.

“This partnership will provide an exciting entry to the fast-growing US market, and we look forward to leveraging the combined expertise of ACEN and our new partners to make this a strong growth platform in the coming years,” Mr. Clausse said.

In its disclosure, the company said the transaction is subject to usual and customary conditions precedent ahead of closing.

ACEN said the partnership will target the acquisition of operating wind projects across various geographies in the US.

“It will seek to upgrade and replace key components on target projects with the goal of extending project life and optimizing power generation,” it said.

It quoted PPM Chief Executive Officer Tim Rosenzweig as saying: “We are excited to work with the ACEN team toward our shared goal of accelerating the transition to renewable energy. This transaction will help us grow our development and operating platform in the US.”

To date, ACEN has invested more than $200 million in what it calls “priority markets,” namely: Australia, Vietnam and Indonesia. It targets to add renewable capacity in the US to its portfolio ahead of its goal of installing 5,000 megawatts (MW) of renewables capacity by 2025.

The company now has an attributable capacity of 3,800 MW in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Australia. Of this figure, renewables account for 87%, which it claims to be the highest in the region.

ACEN aims to become the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia. It is also committed to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

On Monday, ACEN Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala told stockholders during their annual meeting that the company had increased its project pipeline to 18,000 MW in an aggressive expansion in renewables investment.

“We have earmarked P55 billion for our renewable energy expansion,” he said.

During the same meeting, ACEN President and Chief Executive Officer Eric T. Francia said the company had raised “significant capital” of about P48 billion last year “to help enable and convert” a pipeline of renewable energy developments into operating projects.

“Given our strong growth momentum, the company is beginning to look ahead to 2030, and we will soon firm up our 2030 vision and strategy,” he said, noting that the company’s 2030 vision will be unveiled later in the year.

On Tuesday, ACEN shares at the stock exchange moved up by P0.09 or 1.1% to close at P8.25 apiece. — VVS