French oil and gas company TotalEnergies has begun commercial operation of its 380MW Myrtle solar plant with 225MWh battery storage project near Houston, Texas, US.

Equipped with 705,000 ground-mounted solar panels that occupy an area equivalent to 1,800 American football fields, the Myrtle project can generate enough clean energy to supply 70,000 US households.

70% of the power generated from the plant will be utilised by its industrial facilities in the US’s Gulf of Mexico coastal region.

The French company’s “Go Green” project involves the reduction of Scope 1 and 2 emissions at its industrial sites in Port Arthur and La Porte in Texas, and Carville in Louisiana.

The remaining 30% of the energy from the solar plant will be supplied to real estate company Kilroy Realty under a 15-year corporate power purchase agreement.

The 225MWh battery storage system co-located at the solar plant will be used for grid stabilisation.

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By GlobalData

The plant contains 114 energy storage system containers designed by TotalEnergies’ affiliate Saft, which develops batteries.

TotalEnergies renewables senior vice-president Vincent Stoquart stated: “We are very proud to start up Myrtle, TotalEnergies’ largest-to-date operated utility-scale solar farm with storage in the United States.

“This startup is another milestone in achieving our goal to build an integrated and profitable position in Texas, where ERCOT [the Electric Reliability Council of Texas] is the main electrical grid operator. Besides, the project will enable the company to cover the power needs of some of its biggest US industrial sites with electricity from a renewable source.

“Given the advantages that IRA tax exemptions are generating, we will continue to actively develop our 25GW portfolio of projects in operation or development in the United States, to contribute to the company’s global power generation target of more than 100TWh by 2030.”