ACEN Australia bags 2 service agreements

ACEN Australia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Ayala Group’s ACEN Corporation, has secured 20-year Long Term Energy Service Agreements (LTESAs) for two of its solar projects at the NSW Government’s first renewable energy and storage auction.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, ACEN said LTESAs for ACEN Australia’s 720 MW (936 MWdc) New England Solar project and 400 MW (520 MWdc) Stubbo Solar project were secured through the NSW Consumer Trustee’s inaugural tender for renewable generation and long duration storage.

When fully operational, New England Solar and Stubbo Solar will supply renewable electricity to 435,000 homes, helping to meet the NSW Government’s emissions reduction target of 50 percent by 2030.

ACEN Australia Chief Executive Officer Anton Rohner said that the LTESAs allow for greater investment certainty for businesses like ACEN.

“The LTESAs help encourage investment in the renewables and storage capacity necessary to accelerate the transition to clean, reliable and more importantly, affordable power for Australians,” he noted.

Rohner added that, “The LTESAs offer the rights to access a minimum price for generation projects over a 20- year timeframe, which protects investors like us from the risk of unexpectedly low wholesale electricity prices.”

In return for the long-term commercial value provided by LTESAs, ACEN Australia has made significant financial commitments to support community initiatives, regional manufacturing, regional employment, and Indigenous participation.

“I truly believe that the work ACEN Australia is doing to accelerate Australia’s transition to a renewable energy future is critical and we are looking forward to continuing to work closely with the Consumer Trustee, the NSW Government and regional communities, to share the value of its renewable projects in a way that creates an enduring and positive impact on regional communities,” said Rohner.

ACEN CEO Eric Francia said “Our focus is on ensuring that we develop projects that offer the right mix of benefits and opportunities for NSW and Australia at large. We commend the Government for its commitment to deliver better value not just to NSW electricity consumers but to project proponents like ACEN as well.”

ACEN Australia has around 1 GW capacity worth $1 billion in construction, and more than 8 GW capacity in the development pipeline across Australia.

New England Solar (Stage 1) in NSW is ACEN Australia’s first operational project and is being built with the support of host landholders, First Nations people, and the Uralla community.

The 720 MW (936 MWdc) project is one of Australia’s largest solar projects participating in the National Electricity Market (NEM) and is the largest solar project in Australia to be financed on a fully merchant basis.

The 400 MW (520 MWdc) Stage 1 of the project was officially opened in March 2023 by the Hon Chris Bowen MP, Federal Minister for Climate Change, marking a milestone in the project’s six-year journey to generate clean renewable energy into the NEM.

Stubbo Solar commenced construction in late 2022. The 400 MW (520 MWdc) solar project is located within the Central-West Orana REZ and will connect to the existing 330 kV network between Wollar and Wellington.

The project’s development approval also includes provisions for a 200 MWh battery energy storage system, allowing for the project to later on be adapted to dispatch energy when it is most needed during peak hours and provide important grid stability services.