Total doubled-down on US solar power as the oil & gas supermajor added another 2.2GW to its project pipeline that it said will turn green the entire electricity supply to its American industrial operations.

The French group bought the four large-scale PV projects and an associated 600MW of battery storage developments from SunChase Power for an undisclosed sum.

The cluster of solar plants around Houston are due to enter service in 2023 and 2024.

Total said it will sign a 1GW corporate power purchase agreement with the plants that will cover power consumption for all its US industrial sites.

The deal takes Total’s US solar portfolio to almost 4GW, following a 1.6GW agreement in January with a unit of South Korean giant Hanwha to plan 12 PV projects with energy storage across five states.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné hinted that the supermajor is not finished yet. “We look forward to taking advantage of the many growth opportunities in the US market to address the challenges of the energy transition,” he said.

The SunChase deal continues a blistering pace of renewables volume-building by Total, which has over the last 18 months also added assets in offshore and onshore wind as it pursues its own goal to have 35GW of operating renewables on its books by 2025, a target that puts it in the front rank of fossil giants in terms of energy transition ambitions.

The latest acquisition also underlines the growing role of Europe’s oil & gas giants in the US energy transition, where Norway’s Equinor and the UK’s BP are advancing major offshore wind projects.

Europe-US divide

That is in sharp contrast to the US oil sector, which has so far remained almost inactive compared to its European peers.

Total itself recently ditched its membership of the American Petroleum Institute (API), because the key oil and gas representative body’s position on climate issues is at odds with those of the transitioning French energy giant and its net-zero emissions ambitions.

The Paris-based giant said it will not renew its membership of the decades-old group after what it said was “a detailed analysis of the climate positions” of the API.


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