Philippines’ ACEN Group Expands In Vietnam, Australia For Battery Storage & Wind

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The ACEN group made two announcements over the weekend. The first one, through AMI AC Renewables, a subsidiary of AMI Khanh Hoa, was a collaboration with energy technology supplier Honeywell to embark on an ambitious pilot project involving a battery energy storage system (BESS) in Khanh Hoa, Vietnam. The second one, initiated last May 9 announced that ACEN Australia has secured Long Term Energy Service Agreements (LTESAs) for two solar projects through the NSW Government’s renewable energy and storage auction.

A BESS installation at an AMI AC Renewables solar farm in Vietnam (Photo from ACEN)

Vietnam Mission

Since 2017, AMI AC Renewables, a joint venture between ACEN and AMI Renewables, has been a key player in the development and operation of renewable energy projects in Vietnam. Its portfolio includes a 252 MW wind project in Quang Binh and 80 MW solar plants in Khanh Hoa and Dak Lak. Getting the energy to the grid is expected to be more efficient with Honeywell’s advanced BESS Platform. Enhanced grid stability and cost reduction will also significantly decrease reliance on non-renewable baseload power sources.

Recognizing the importance of this venture, the U.S. Mission Vietnam granted AMI AC Renewables a substantial amount of US$2.9 million in October 2021 to drive the progress and success of the BESS project.

The overarching objective of the BESS pilot project is to demonstrate the commercial viability and vast potential of battery energy storage in Vietnam. By showcasing the practical benefits of renewable energy, such as improved reliability and efficiency, the project aims to support Vietnam in achieving its climate goals.

Expressing gratitude for the support received, Nguyen Nam Thang, CEO of AMI AC Renewables, conveyed his appreciation to the U.S. Mission Vietnam for their trust and comprehensive support in implementing the project. Thang also praised the collaboration with Honeywell, underscoring the significance of bringing cutting-edge U.S. BESS technology to Vietnam.

He emphasized that the success of the BESS project at AMI Khanh Hoa would foster technological, technical, and economic cooperation between the U.S. and Vietnam, while making a substantial contribution to Vietnam’s ambitious target of achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050.

Ramanathan Valliyappan, General Manager of Honeywell Process Solutions Asia Pacific, highlighted the critical role of battery energy storage solutions in advancing sustainability efforts. Valliyappan expressed enthusiasm for collaborating with AMI AC Renewables to extend the availability of renewable energy from the Khanh Hoa solar farm, ensuring continuous power supply even during periods with limited sunlight.

U.S. Consul General Susan Burns, present at the signing ceremony, reaffirmed the strong commitment of the U.S. Mission to support this transformative project as part of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) with Vietnam. By leveraging advanced energy storage technology, this collaboration aims to accelerate the clean energy transition, foster sustainable development, and build a climate-resilient future for Vietnam.

The comprehensive integration of energy storage is a fundamental component of the Just Energy Transition Partnership between Vietnam and its international partners. Through collective efforts, they aim to provide robust support for Vietnam‘s ambitious Net Zero target by 2050 while advancing sustainable energy solutions and driving economic growth.

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Down Under

A solar array in Australia built and operated by the ACEN Group (Photo handout from ACEN Australia)

ACEN Australia has secured Long Term Energy Service Agreements (LTESAs) for two solar projects through the NSW Government’s renewable energy and storage auction.

The LTESAs, spanning 20 years, were awarded for the 936 MW New England Solar project and the 520 MW Stubbo Solar project. These agreements will enable the projects to supply renewable electricity to approximately 435,000 homes, contributing to the NSW Government’s emissions reduction target of 50% by 2030.

ACEN Australia CEO Anton Rohner expressed the importance of LTESAs in providing investment certainty for renewable energy projects. He highlighted that these agreements offer access to a minimum price for electricity generation over a long-term period, protecting investors from the risks associated with volatile wholesale electricity prices.

In exchange for the commercial value provided by the LTESAs, ACEN Australia has committed to supporting community initiatives, regional manufacturing, employment, and Indigenous participation.

ACEN CEO Eric Francia emphasized the company’s focus on developing projects that benefit NSW and Australia as a whole. He commended the government’s commitment to delivering value to electricity consumers and project proponents like ACEN.

ACEN Australia currently has around 1 GW of capacity under construction, worth US$1 billion, and over 8 GW in the development pipeline across Australia.

The New England Solar project, ACEN Australia’s first operational project, involves collaboration with host landholders, First Nations people, and the Uralla community. With a capacity of 936 MW (720 MWac), it is one of the largest solar projects in Australia participating in the National Electricity Market. It is also the largest solar project in Australia to be financed on a fully merchant basis.

The project’s Stage 1, with a capacity of 520 MW (400 MWac), was inaugurated in March 2023.

The Stubbo Solar project, with a capacity of 520 MW (400 MWac), started construction in late 2022. It is located within the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) and will connect to the existing 330 kV network between Wollar and Wellington.

The project’s development approval includes provisions for a 200 MWh battery energy storage system, enabling the project to provide grid stability services and dispatch energy during peak hours.

ACEN is the listed energy platform of the Ayala Group, the Philippines’ largest conglomerate with interests in automotive, usiness process outsourcing, banking, education, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, real estate, and water.


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Raymond Tribdino

Raymond Gregory Tribdino is the motoring & information technology editor of Malaya Business Insight (www.malaya.com.ph) in the Philippines. He has been covering automotive, transport, and IT since 1992. His passion for electric vehicles started with the failed electrification of a scooter in 1994. He wrote for EVWorld.com, one of the pioneer electric vehicle websites, in 1997. He was a college professor for 8 years at the Philippine Women’s University. He is also now a podcaster co-hosting for the Philippines' top-rated YouTube tech site “TechSabado” and the baby-boomer popular “Today is Tuesday.” He is a husband and father of five, a weekend mechanic and considers himself a handyman, an amateur ecologist, and environmentalist. He is back to trying to electrify motorcycles starting with a plug-in trail motorcycle.

Raymond Tribdino has 108 posts and counting. See all posts by Raymond Tribdino