French supermajor Total is planning a one-gigawatt solar project in Iraq, according to government officials in Baghdad.

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Total has reached agreement in principle for the huge solar plant as one of four projects covering gas and seawater reprocessing, a statement from Iraq’s Ministerial Council for Energy read.

The two parties have been discussing the plans since late 2020, the statement added, citing comments from Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanne as saying the agreements mark “an important step”.

No further details were given over the solar project, which will be submitted to Iraq’s Council of Ministers for approval.

Total told Upstream's sister renewable energy publication Recharge that it had no additional comment on the matter at this stage.

A project in Iraq would mark another frontier for Total’s fast growing renewable energy business, which has made solar and offshore wind its two main focuses.

The company has since 2019 established large-scale photovoltaics positions in India, Spain and the US, among others.

The supermajor wants to build a 100GW gross renewables base by 2030, a headline figure that would put it in the same league as power industry giants such as Iberdrola and Enel.

It is planning to change its name to TotalEnergies to underline its ambitions to become a broad-based energy player.

(This article first appeared in Upstream's sister renewable energy publication Recharge on 30 March, 2021.)