Total completes 16 MW/10 MWh solar+storage project in New Caledonia

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From pv magazine France

Total Quadran, a unit of French oil and gas producer Total, has commissioned the Hélio Boulouparis 2 photovoltaic power plant in New Caledonia, a French overseas territory in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.

With 58,000 solar panels, the facility has an installed capacity of nearly 16 MW, which is enough to cater to the energy needs of more than 21,000 Caledonians. The plant is also equipped with a 10 MWh lithium-ion energy storage system to “contribute to the quality and reliability of the electricity network for the benefit of the local population,” the company said.

The project is actually an extension of the 11.2 MW Hélio Boulouparis 1 installation, which was commissioned in May 2017.

“With nearly 60% of the total photovoltaic capacity installed in New Caledonia, Total Quadran is positioning itself as the first player in the local solar market,” said Thierry Muller, managing director of Total Quadran.

Total can now claim to have been active in New Caledonia’s renewable energy sector for more than 20 years, he added. The group currently manages a fleet of seven solar power plants in the territory with a combined capacity of 50 MW. “Nearly 140,000 Caledonians use green energy produced by Total Quadran,” Muller said.

Total Quadran currently operates more than 300 renewable projects throughout the world, totaling nearly 900 MW. It also claims that the Helio Boulouparis 2 power plant is the largest solar+storage plant in any of France’s overseas territories.

The French energy regulator recently revealed that it had chosen Total Solar to build a 4 MW/2 MWh storage project in the French Department of Mayotte, in the Indian Ocean. The announcement also included plans for PV developer Albioma to build a 7.4 MW/14.9 MWh project in the archipelago.

On Oct. 14, rival French renewables group Voltalia and the Bank of the Territories inaugurated the Savanes des Pères power plant in Guyana. The project combines a 3.8 MW solar array with a 2.9 MWh lithium-ion battery storage system.