TotalEnergies says it will develop a series of photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage projects in New Caledonia for Prony Resources’ operations in the country.
The company will deliver decarbonised electricity via a 25-year renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) for the operations, developing, in successive phases, ground-based PV arrays with installed capacity of 160 MW, as well as 340 MWh of energy battery storage capacity, between 2022 and 2025.
Most of the installations will be located on property owned by the Grand Sud hydrometallurgical plant, TotalEnergies says, with the first PV power plant (30 MW) scheduled to come on stream in 2023.
Ultimately, the project will cover nearly two-thirds of the site’s electricity needs and will help avoid close to 230,000 t of CO2 emissions, according to the company. This project strengthens Prony Resources New Caledonia’s ambition of achieving carbon neutrality by 2040, it said.
Earlier this year, Vale Canada concluded the sale of its ownership interest in Vale Nouvelle-Calédonie SAS (VNC) to the Prony Resources New Caledonia consortium. VNC is a producer of nickel and cobalt from the Goro mine.
The company said: “By combining solar energy and energy storage to replace electricity generated from coal, TotalEnergies is demonstrating its ability to provide a sustainable energy solution to Prony Resources New Caledonia while meeting demanding local, industrial, environmental and social requirements.”
Thierry Muller, CEO of TotalEnergies Renewables France, said: “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
“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 that it is possible to support industrial activity in New Caledonia and participate in a sustainable development approach at the same time.”
Antonin Beurrier, Chairman of Prony Resources New Caledonia, added: “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.
“The choice of TotalEnergies brings in world-class industrial expertise and opens the door to exciting opportunities and innovations in the years ahead.”