Qatar’s first large-scale solar power plant starts operation

The 800MWp Al Kharsaah solar power plant completes construction and has been connected to the country’s national grid, TotalEnergies says

The Al Kharsaah solar power plant in Qatar has completed construction, been started up and connected to the country’s national grid, the company behind the project has announced.

Developed by TotalEnergies, in partnership with QatarEnergy and Marubeni, the plant, which is located 80-kilometres west of the capital, Doha, is the first large-scale photovoltaic plant in Qatar. 

With 800MWp installed capacity, the plant has been constructed on a 1,000-hectare terrain, equivalent to approximately 1,400 football pitches, the company said. Al Kharsaah can supply 10% of Qatar’s peak power consumption and will avoid 26 million tons of CO2 emissions over the course of its lifetime.

It integrates two million high-efficiency bifacial modules mounted on single-axis trackers. These panels are equipped with photovoltaic cells on the front and back, which allows them to capture the sun’s direct rays on one side, and capture the rays reflected on the ground thanks to the other side – thus optimising electricity production.

“After our recent entry in the giant LNG projects NFE and NFS alongside QatarEnergy, we are proud to announce today the start-up of the Al Kharsaah solar plant. This giant project, which contributed to the sustainability roadmap of Qatar, demonstrates once again TotalEnergies' ability to support producing countries in their energy transition by combining natural gas production and solar energy to meet the growing demand for electricity,” said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TotalEnergies. 

“This is another milestone in our long-standing and trustful relationship with QatarEnergy, also bringing us closer to our goal of 35 GW of production capacity by 2025.”

The power plant has been developed by, and is being operated by, Siraj 1, a company that is 40% jointly owned by a consortium consisting of TotalEnergies (49% ownership) and Marubeni (59% ownership); and 60% owned by QatarEnergy Renewable Solutions. The project includes a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement between Siraj 1 and the country’s power grid operator Kahramaa.

Increasing capacity

The Al Kharsaah plant launch follows the recent selection of TotalEnergies as Qatar’s first international partner for the North Field East (NFE) and North Field South (NFS) liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects. Participation in these projects will enable TotalEnergies to add 3.5Mt/year of production to its global LNG portfolio by 2028 – in line with the company’s goal of increasing the share of natural gas in its sales mix to 50% by 2030.

The plant also follows the recent announcement by QatarEnergy for a new solarisation project for the Ras Laffan and Mesaieed industrial cities, which is also being carried out with the support of TotalEnergies. With 900MWp of installed capacity, that project will be another major milestone in QatarEnergy’s strategy to reduce the carbon footprint of its facilities by 2030, and to develop 5GW of renewable power generation capacity by 2035.

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