Oil supermajor Total is set to become one of the biggest players in the red-hot Spanish solar power industry after deals covering 2GW of projects, in a third major foray into the sector since the start of 2020.

Its move into Spain comes just a week after the oil group announced a $500m (€454m) deal with the Adani group to acquire a 50% stake in its Indian solar portfolio. Along with a third agreement in Qatar, Total said it has announced almost 5GW of solar-related deals so far this year.

In the latest move, the French oil and gas group unveiled agreements to buy up to 1.2GW of PV capacity under development by Spain's Solarbay, and a share in an initial 800MW under a separate 65/35 joint venture with solar specialist Powertis. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The agreements will propel Total to become a frontrunner in the Spanish solar sector, which is currently among the top seven market prospects globally thanks to excellent insolation, supportive policies and emerging opportunities for corporate renewable PPAs, according to industry body SolarPower Europe.

Fellow fossil player Galp in January claimed it is poised to become “the biggest Iberian solar player” after it bought a 2.9GW PV portfolio from ACS.

Total said the projects will enter service between 2020 and 2023 in a Spanish PV market that could balloon almost sevenfold to 40GW by the end of the decade.

The oil and gas giant’s current gross renewable generation base stands at 3GW, it said, with plans to grow that as part of a shift towards “low-carbon” operations that could account for up to a fifth of sales by 2040.

Total’s other interests in renewable energy range from investments in US PV outfit SunPower and Lithium-ion battery maker Saft to international onshore wind projects via its subsidiary Total Eren.

In 2019 it announced a tie-up with Chinese clean energy group Envision to develop distributed solar projects in China and revealed plans to break into the UK offshore wind market.