French oil and gas company TotalEnergies and its partners have begun the construction of a 216MW solar power plant with 500 megawatt-hours of battery storage facility in South Africa.

Located in the Northern Cape province, the hybrid power project will help in managing the intermittency of solar production.

The project will deliver dispatchable renewable electricity equivalent to more than 400 gigawatt-hours per year to the South African national grid for 20 years.

The facility has a power purchase agreement in place and will supply 75MW of dispatchable power to the national utility Eskom through its storage system.

The solar hybrid project is being developed by a consortium including TotalEnergies, Hydra Storage Holding and Reatile Renewables.

With a 35% stake each, TotalEnergies and Hydra Storage Holding will be the majority shareholders in the project, with the remaining 30% stake owned by Reatile Renewables.

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The consortium achieved financial close on 14 December 2023. The solar hybrid facility is expected to come online in 2025.

TotalEnergies Renewables senior vice-president Vincent Stoquart stated: “Together with our partners, we are pleased to launch this major solar power generation and storage project in South Africa.

“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 strengthening the resilience of its power system.”

The project is a component of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s risk mitigation and independent power producer procurement programme, which was established to increase the nation’s capacity for producing electricity and to lessen its supply constraints.

In December 2023, TotalEnergies and the Government of Kazakhstan signed an investment agreement for the 1GW Mirny wind project in the Zhambyl region of Kazakhstan.

The Mirny project is being developed with an estimated investment of $1.4bn (€1.28bn)