Industrial giants TotalEnergies, Marubeni and QatarEnergy have opened their jointly developed Al Kharsaah PV array hailing the project as ready to supply 10% of Qatar’s peak power consumption.

The 800MWp plant, located 80km west of Doha, is the country’s first large-scale PV development and also one of the biggest solar plants in the Middle East.

“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,” TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanné said.

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

The plant was built on a 1000-hectare terrain - equivalent to about 1,400 football pitches - and integrates 2 million high-efficiency bifacial modules (with PV cells on the front and back) mounted on single-axis trackers, which can capture the sun's direct rays on one side and rays reflected on the ground on the other side.

The plant has been developed and is operated by Siraj 1, which is jointly owned to 40% by the TotalEnergies (49%) and Marubeni consortium, and to 60% by QatarEnergy Renewable Solutions. The project has secured a 25-year power purchase agreement with grid operator Kahramaa.

TotalEnergies said it will also support a 900MWp solarisation project for the Ras Laffan and Mesaieed industrial cities.

QatarEnergies targets to develop 5GW of renewable power capacity by 2035, while TotalEnergies has the ambition to reach net zero by mid-century. As interim steps, the French oil major plans to boost its renewables and storage capacity from a current 12GW to 35GW by 2025, and to 100GW by 2030.