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TotalEnergies to Build a Solar and Storage Project in South Africa

TotalEnergies is launching with partners the construction of a solar plus storage plant in South Africa, the French energy major said on Friday.

The hybrid renewable energy project will include a 216 megawatt (MW) solar plant and a 500 MWh battery storage system to manage the intermittency of solar production, the company said.

The project, located in the Northern Cape province, is planned to supply dispatchable renewable electricity to the South African national grid for 20 years. Under the terms of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed in November, and thanks to the storage system, the project will supply 75 MW of dispatchable power to the national utility Eskom on a continuous basis from 5 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.—for longer than the available sunshine.

TotalEnergies and its partners, Hydra Storage Holding and Reatile Renewables, achieved on Thursday financial close on the project, which is expected to be operational in 2025.

The project is part of a South African program to develop electricity generation capacity and alleviate the country’s electricity supply constraints.

South Africa is going through a major energy crisis with daily rolling power cuts, which cripple the economy, as state firm Eskom has failed to boost generation capacity to keep pace with growing demand in recent years. 

For TotalEnergies, renewable power production and investments are part of its long-term strategy to be an energy company focused on LNG, power, and advantageous oil resources.

Earlier this week, TotalEnergies said it would buy several power start-ups as part of its plan to accelerate the development of its electricity business.

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Last week, TotalEnergies signed at the COP28 climate summit an agreement on investment (AoI) for its Mirny project in Kazakhstan, which will be the largest wind energy project ever initiated in the country. The Mirny project aims to build a 1 gigawatt (GW) onshore wind farm of up to 160 turbines combined with a 600 MWh battery energy storage system for a reliable power supply.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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