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French Giant Total To Install PV Solar Panels In 5,000 Service Stations Globally

Total is launching a project to equip 5,000 of its service stations worldwide with solar panels within five years, including 800 in France. The total solar capacity to be installed is about 200 MW, equivalent to the amount of electricity used to power a city of 200,000 people. The project represents an investment of around $300 million and is projected to cut the company’s carbon emissions by 100,000 tonnes annually and reduce energy costs by $40m each year.

The investment is comparatively small by the standards of the company, which spends around $20 billion a year on oil and gas extraction and Total is not the first oil company to put solar panels on its service stations. However, it’s a high-profile move in what it sees as a growth sector. In 2016 already, Total has bought up stakes in two solar power start-ups via its $150 million Total Energy Ventures venture capital fund.

“The project is fully aligned with Total’s ambition of becoming the responsible energy major and its commitment to developing solar power. It will reduce our carbon emissions by 100,000 tonnes per year and cut our electricity bill by $40 million per year,” said Philippe Sauquet, President of Gas, Renewables & Power at Total. “The panels will be supplied by our affiliate SunPower, which offers the world’s most efficient solar technology. This project demonstrates Total’s confidence in SunPower, especially its ability to bring our customers competitive, clean energy.”

This development is indicative of a move by Europe’s biggest oil companies, significantly affected by the decline in oil prices over the last two years. They are now focusing on renewable energy as part of their future strategies for revenue growth.

An affiliate of Total, SunPower is a global leader in photovoltaic solar energy. Based in San Jose, California, SunPower develops, manufactures and operates the world’s highest performing solar panels and solar systems for homeowners and businesses.

Total is a global integrated energy producer and provider, a leading international oil and gas company, and the world’s second-ranked solar energy operator with SunPower. The company states that it and its 96,000 employees are committed to better energy, that is safer, cleaner, more efficient, more innovative and accessible to as many people as possible. It has operations in more than 130 countries worldwide, which it states are focused on delivering economic, social and environmental benefits.

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