A joint venture involving French oil major Total is planning to develop a dozen solar and energy storage projects in the U.S., including five in Texas.
Total on Thursday said it inked a deal with 174 Power Global, a wholly owned subsidiary of South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group, to develop 1.6 gigawatts of solar projects nationally.
The first project started production in 2020, and the remainder will come online in 2022 and 2024, the companies said. Three of the projects will be in West Texas, one in central Texas and one in south Texas.
“This transaction is a first significant step for Total in the US utility scale solar market, in line with our 2025 ambition to achieve 35 GW of renewables production capacity worldwide,” Julien Pouget, Total’s renewables director, said in a statement. “I am confident that this will pave the way to more opportunities in the US renewables and storage market.”
The solar deal between one of the world’s largest oil companies and a leading solar developer in North America is yet another sign of the energy transition away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy.
Total last year set a goal to become a net-zero emissions company by 2050, and is rebuilding its energy portfolio so that renewables and electricity will become up to 40 percent of its sales by 2050. Other European oil companies, including BP, are also preparing for a lower-carbon future by investing heavily in wind and solar power.
Total generates around 7 gigawatts of power from renewable energy, enough to power 2.1 million homes. By 2025, the company plans to increase its renewable power generation five-fold to 35 gigawatts, enough to power 10.5 million homes.
Total turned to 174 Power Global, which has an office in Houston, to develop solar and energy storage projects in the U.S. Founded in 2017, the company has more than 8 gigawatts of solar projects under development.
It is affiliated with Chariot Energy, a retail electricity company that provides solar power in Texas. The company’s name was inspired by the 174 petawatts of power the earth receives from the sun at any moment.
“We … see significant opportunities for our (joint venture) to expand our solar and energy storage footprint,” 174 Power Global CEO Henry Yun said in a statement. “We are excited to work with the Total team and further our joint commitment to clean renewable energy and low-carbon investments.”
This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.