Total awarded a solar power generation plant in South Africa

Total S.A. (« Total ») (CAC : TOTF.PA) announced being selected as the preferred bidder for an 86 megawatt-peak (MWp) ground-mounted solar power project by South Africa’s Department of Energy (DoE), as part of the third round of tenders for renewable energy generation facilities.

Total’s affiliate, SunPower Corporation (« SunPower ») (NASDAQ : SPWR), a global solar energy leader offering solutions unmatched in efficiency, reliability and performance, provided the photovoltaic specifications for the project. SunPower also is expected to provide Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) services and long-term Operation and Maintenance for the project.

This solar power project of 86 MWp will deliver clean, reliable energy to the community. The solar power plant is expected to generate approximately 210 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of power each year, which represents the electricity consumption of approximately 45,000 South Africans.

“We are pleased to have been selected for this solar project by the Department of Energy. This project proves we can deliver, with our affiliate SunPower, the best technology at a competitive price”, said Philippe Boisseau, President, Marketing & Services and New Energies and a member of the Executive Committee of Total. “Total has been present in South Africa for almost 50 years and remains very committed to the country. As a world leader in the solar industry, we are pleased to assist South Africa in the diversification of its energy mix, with the development of increased solar capacity in the country, along other energy sources. We believe there is a huge potential in the solar market”, he concluded.

“This is another great example where Total’s international footprint has provided opportunities to SunPower, following the recent announcement to build the world’s largest solar merchant plant in Chile”, said Tom Werner, SunPower President and Chief Executive Officer. “SunPower’s successful track record of building solar power plants around the world, coupled with Total’s historic presence in South Africa, will positively impact this region, including job creation”.

The project is secured under a co-development agreement with South African Mulilo Renewable Energy. Total will own 27% of the project, along with five partners: Calulo Renewable Energy with 25%, Mulilo Renewable Energy with 18%, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) with 15%, Futuregrowth Asset Management (Pty) Ltd with 10% and a Local Community Trust will own 5% of the project.

The project is estimated to cost approximately $200 million. It will be financed 80% through non-recourse project debt from South African banks. The remaining 20% equity portion will be funded by Total, Calulo Renewable Energy, Mulilo Renewable Energy, the IDC, Futuregrowth Asset Management (Pty) Ltd and a Local Community Trust, based on their respective ownership interests.

The 86 MWp project is located in Prieska, in the province of the Northern Cape.Upon completion, the project will resell the electricity to ESKOM, under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

Financial close is awaited by mid 2014, which will lead to construction starting during the second semester of 2014. Completion is expected mid 2015. The project is part of the South African government’s Independent Power Producers Procurement Program.

The planned ground-mounted solar system will feature SunPower’s Oasis™ Power Blocks system, a fully integrated solution utilizing SunPower’s high efficiency solar panels and single-axis trackers.