AC Energy to tap partner for solar rooftop ventures

Published August 9, 2021, 3:41 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The board of Ayala-led AC Energy Corporation (ACEN) has given the green light for it to enter into a joint venture (JV) deal with Asian firm NEFIN Holding Ltd. for targeted solar rooftop ventures.


The business tie-up arrangement, according to ACEN, will be sealed between its subsidiary AC Renewables Inc. (ACRI) and NEFIN. It will be a 50:50 JV holding company “that will develop, construct and operate rooftop solar projects across Asia.”

Founded by a core management team from Dupont Solar Business, NEFIN has presence in Hongkong, Malaysia and Taiwan.

As highlighted by the Ayala energy firm, their partnership with NEFIN will target up to 21-megawatt capacity of operating assets as well as near-term project pipeline; and the initial investment it will inject into the tie-up company will be at P500 million.

“ACRI’s investment into the joint venture will be via a primary infusion of an initial US$10 million of fresh funds, which will be used to construct near-term projects over the coming years,” ACEN stated.

The Ayala company noted it will subsequently commit “to further expand its funding for the development and construction of the rest of the joint venture’s carbon neutrality pipeline.”

There had been no specific sites for installations given by the Ayala group yet; even the core clients that it will be eyeing for the solar rooftop developments in the Asian region.

For that deal with ACEN, tapped as financial advisor for NEFIN on the transaction was DBS Bank Ltd. of Singapore. Apart from NEFIN’s expertise as a solar project developer, the company is also a known investor in carbon neutrality solutions.

ACEN pointed out it will be leveraging on the expertise of NEFIN on the solar rooftop space, as the latter had already logged 300MW of utility-scale solar projects; as well as commercial and industrial solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.

“The partnership between ACEN and NEFIN is a natural fit – with both businesses anchored on sustainability and with growing renewable energy capacity,” the Ayala firm said.

ACEN is basically targeting to be one of the biggest RE developers in the Asian region, although that aspiration remains to be seen because even its competitors in the Philippines are now on robust expansion for their RE capacities.