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The project is expected to be operational in 2025.

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TotalEnergies starts construction on 216MW solar plant in South Africa

The facility is expected to be operational in 2025, and will supply power to South Africa’s national utility Eskom under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

French multinational energy company, TotalEnergies, has announced that it has started construction on a 216 MW hybrid solar plant with a 500 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS), in South Africa’s Northern Cape province.

TotalEnergies, with a 35% stake in the project is building the solar-storage hybrid power facility in partnership with Hydra Storage Holding, which will own a 35% stake in the project, and local black empowerment partner Reatile Renewables owning a 30% stake.

The project was awarded to the TotalEnergies led consortium in 2021 as part of South Africa’s Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) launched by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to improve the country’s power generation capacity and alleviate electricity supply constraints.

TotalEnergies revealed that the solar-storage hybrid power plant achieved financial close on 14 December 2023. The facility is expected to be operational in 2025, and will supply power to South Africa’s national utility Eskom under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

“Together with our partners, we are pleased to launch this major solar power generation and storage project in South Africa,” said Vincent Stoquart, Senior Vice President, Renewables at TotalEnergies.

“Thanks to its innovative hybrid design, it will enable us to supply continuous green electricity over a longer period and beyond the hours of sunshine. This project will not only contribute to the country’s energy transition, but also to strengthen the resilience of its power system,” Stoquart added.

TotalEnergies growing renewables portfolio in SA

The solar-storage hybrid power plant adds to the growing portfolio of solar projects by TotalEnergies in South Africa. The French multinational currently has an interest in the 86MW Prieska solar power plant in Northern Cape which has been operational since 2016.

Additionally, TotalEnergies is developing a 120 MW solar power plant, and a 140 MW wind farm in the Northern Cape province. The projects will supply around 850 GWh of renewable energy to Sasol’s Secunda site where Air Liquide operates the biggest oxygen production site in the world.

As part of its ambition to get to net zero by 2050, the French energy giant announced that it is building a portfolio combining renewables (solar, onshore and offshore wind), and flexible assets (CCGT, storage) to deliver clean firm power to its customers. 

At the end of 2023, TotalEnergies’ gross renewable electricity generation installed capacity was 22 GW. The company highlighted that it will continue to expand its electricity business to reach 35 GW in 2025, and more than 100 TWh of net electricity production by 2030.

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