TotalEnergies is developing a 160-megawatt solar project in New Caledonia as part of a 25-year renewable-power purchase agreement with mining and metallurgy consortium Prony Resources New Caledonia.

The photovoltaic arrays will be developed between 2022 and 2025, along with 340 MWh of battery storage capacity.

The first 30 MW-power plant is expected to be generating power by 2023.

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“Prony Resources New Caledonia’s commitment to decarbonisation is both ambitious and pioneering in the industry. We are very proud to support their energy transition, and that of New Caledonia,” said Thierry Muller, chief executive of TotalEnergies Renewables France.

“As industrial firms, we think and act responsibly. Our two companies are committed to protecting natural resources and biodiversity, and to improving the situation of local communities.

“With this long-term partnership, we are demonstrating it is possible to support industrial activity in New Caledonia and participate in a sustainable development approach at the same time,” Muller added.

The battery storage capacity is intended to provide a sustainable energy solution to Prony, supporting local, industrial, environmental and social demands.

The project will cover nearly two-thirds of the Grand Sud hydro-metallurgical plant’s electricity needs, helping to curtail about 230,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Prony aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

“Certainly, one of the most important pathways in our industrial transformation — an orderly and assertive transition of our energy mix towards renewables — allows Prony Resources to ensure that its electric vehicle battery manufacturer customers are supplied with high environmental quality nickel and cobalt while contributing to New Caledonia’s sustainable development,” said Prony chairman Antonin Beurrie.