TotalEnergies, a global producer and marketer of oil, biofuels, natural gas, electricity, and renewables, announced it has begun commercial operations of Myrtle Solar (Myrtle).
Myrtle’s peak production capacity is 280 MW. The solar facility also has 225 MWh of co-located batteries manufactured by TotalEnergies subsidiary Saft. The French company designs, develops and manufactures batteries for transport, industry and defense. Saft’s utility-scale energy storage systems range from nickel to lithium-ion chemistries.
TotalEnergies states that its battery energy storage equipment is intended to help stabilize the Texas grid, which has already undergone pilot projects by The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to help increase resilience to extreme weather.
The Myrtle project consists of 705,000 ground-mounted solar panels that cover an area of 1,800 football fields. TotalEnergies said its solar plant generates enough electricity to power 70,000 homes.
However, 70% of Myrtle’s capacity will power three of TotalEnergies’ industrial plants along the U.S. Gulf Coast. That includes a synthetic plastic manufacturing facility in La Porte, Texas, a crude oil refinery in Port Arthur, Texas and a styrofoam production plant in Carville, La. The remaining 30% will provide Kilroy Realty with green electricity. The publicly traded real estate company, headquartered in Los Angeles, entered a 15-year corporate power purchase agreement with TotalEnergies.
The solar plant is expected to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions of each industrial site. According to the National Grid, Scope 1 emissions are those from sources an organization owns or directly controls. That includes methane or carbon emitted during operations. Scope 2 emissions are related to what energy a company purchases. They are considered indirect because they result from the organization’s energy use, despite occurring at the facility, the Environmental Protection Agency states.
The Myrtle project is part of TotalEnergies’ “Go Green” initiative, which aligns with the European Union’s carbon neutrality goal of sustaining an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To decarbonize its global facilities in this timeframe, TotalEnergies is beginning to include renewables like the Myrtle project to power its production practices. The company is working toward expanding its green power generation capacity to 100 TWh by 2030. This would be up from 33 TWh in 2022.
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