French energy giant, Total SE (Total), has acquired 2.2 GW of solar projects and 600 MW of Texas-based battery storage assets from SunChase Power and MAP RE/ES. The announcement comes just weeks after Total entered a 50/50 joint venture with 174 Power Global to develop 12 utility-scale solar and energy storage projects with a total projected capacity of 1.6 GW. Total now has nearly 4 GW of renewable capacity projects in its pipeline. All projects are expected to come online between 2022 and 2024 as part of the company’s goal to have 35 GW of renewable generation capacity by 2025.
According to Total, its gross power generation capacity was 12 GW (7 GW of renewables) at the end of 2020. “I am very pleased that Total is further contributing to the development of solar power in the United States. We look forward to taking advantage of the many growth opportunities in the US market to address the challenges of the energy transition,” said Patrick Pouyanné, chair and CEO of Total.
Total leads oil majors in solar investments. And impressively enough, most of it happened during the pandemic. Total’s solar investments had been relatively subdued since acquiring two-thirds of American solar photovoltaic (PV) cell and panel manufacturer, SunPower, in 2011. Everything changed when Total secured around 2 GW of solar capacity in February 2020. Then in September 2020, the French major acquired 3.3 GW of solar capacity in Spain, all of which is expected to be operational by 2025.