TotalEnergies has completed the acquisition of French agrivoltaics company Ombrea to bolster its own sustainability credentials in what has become a strong growth sector for the oil and gas supermajor.
Founded in 2016, Ombrea has been involved in the construction of 10 solar farms to date and has studied around fifty crop varieties as part of its efforts to optimise synergies between agricultural production and green electricity generation, according to a TotalEnergies statement on the acquisition, released today (Thursday).
Plans to ramp-up solar power generation in populated and intensively-farmed nations has placed a growing onus on wind farm developers to find ways of harmonising clean energy production with environmental and agricultural sustainability.
“By integrating Ombrea's teams and expertise into its renewable activities, TotalEnergies intends to accelerate its development in agrivoltaics, both in France and abroad,” the supermajor stated.
“Under the Ombrea brand, TotalEnergies will offer the farming community solutions for combining solar power and agricultural production, including solutions for protecting against weather events, maintaining or even improving yields, and adapting to climate change.”
With ambitions to get to net zero by 2050, TotalEnergies has pledged to expand its clean energy business to reach 35GW of gross production capacity from renewable sources and storage by 2025, and then 100 GW by 203.
It has given itself the objective of becoming among the world's top five producers of electricity from wind and solar energy.
At the end of July 2023, TotalEnergies' gross renewable electricity generation installed capacity was 19GW.
The company said its renewables portfolio currently includes development of 1.5GW of agrivoltaic projects, in accordance with criteria set out under the French Renewable Energy Acceleration Law of 2023.
Vincent Stoquart, TotalEnergies, senior vice president for renewables stated: "This move will allow us to combine our expertise and know-how to accelerate the deployment of solutions that enable the agricultural sector to increase its income by producing energy, while sustaining its activities and reducing its carbon footprint.”
He said the company would build up its global hub for agrivoltaics in Aix-en-Provence, where Ombrea was headquartered.
Ombrea founders Christian Davico and Julie Davico-Pahin stated jointly: "We look forward to seeing the accelerated deployment of our smart solutions to promote high-performance, forward-looking agriculture".