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Total Eren And Gransolar Partners To Build A Renewable Energy Microgrid Project In The Galápagos Island, Ecuador

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Total Eren, a leading renewable energy Independent Power Producer based in Paris, and Gransolar, an Ecuadorian developer, are pleased to announce the joint design, development, financing, construction, and operation of a microgrid project in the Galápagos Islands. The E-Quator Energy project will combine a 14.8 MWp solar photovoltaic plant with a 40.9 MWh electricity storage capacity. Located in the Galápagos Islands, declared by UNESCO as a Natural World Heritage Site, the project will enable an increase of the share of renewables in the local electricity consumption from 15% to up to 70%.

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The E-Quator project – formerly known as “Conolophus” – was launched by Gransolar in September 2018 as a private initiative. The project was presented to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Energy and NonRenewable Natural Resources that decided to hold a Public Selection Process (Proceso Público de Selección) in March 2020. Total Eren joined Gransolar’s initiative in July 2020 to join the process, during which five companies were shortlisted by the Government of Ecuador. On September 8th,
2021, Total Eren and Gransolar were officially awarded the project.

The Partners will work together through a 50/50 joint venture company, “E-Quator Energy”, which will sign the concession agreement for 25 years with the Ecuadorian authorities.

This microgrid will integrate 4 components:
▪ A 14.8 MWp solar photovoltaic solar farm to be located on a former military airbase, on the Baltra Island;
▪ Two Battery Energy Service Systems (BESS) coupled with the solar farm for a total discharge the capacity of 40.9 MWh in Baltra Island and Santa Cruz Island;
▪ A 44 km sub-transmission line interconnecting Baltra Island and Santa Cruz Island;
▪ Finally, a Microgrid Controller which will operate the dispatch of all the energy generation assets in the archipelago.

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Today, 85% of the Galápagos Islands’ electricity consumption relies on fossil fuels. The E-Quator project will increase the supply of electricity generated through renewable energy sources to up to 70% while decreasing diesel imports and consumption by approximately 1.6 million barrels per year.

The Galapagos Islands were declared as a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO and are well-known for their abundant wildlife. The Partners are committed to ensure that all steps of development, construction and operation of the project be made with the highest care and attention paid to the unique local biodiversity of the Archipelago.

In parallel, the project received on December 8th, 2021, the support of both Ecuadorian and French governments, with the signature in Quito of a Declaration of Intent by the French Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, M. Franck Riester, the Ecuadorian Minister of Production, M. Julio José Prado, and the Ecuadorian Minister of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources, M. Juan Carlos Bermeo.

Fabienne Demol, Executive Vice-President and Global Head of Business Development of Total Eren, commented: “We are very pleased to partner with Gransolar to develop this innovative project in Ecuador. This project is unique as it does bring a comprehensive green energy solution that can be duplicated in all islands of the globe. I want to thank the Government of Ecuador for promoting this project through a Public Selection Process, as well as our partner, Gransolar, for our collaboration,
and our teams for their dedicated work. I am excited to carry out the construction of our first renewable project in Ecuador and hope to pursue our growth in the Latin American market.”

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Martin Rocher, Vice-President in charge of Total Eren’s activities in Latin America, added: “E-Quator Energy microgrid project demonstrates that solar energy combined with batteries is a technically reliable solution capable of addressing economic and environmental challenges of power generation in areas that rely on electricity produced from diesel. We are very proud to contribute to change the way the Galápagos Archipelago is powered, transitioning towards a self-sufficient island system in
which energy is generated under a model of low carbon emissions. I am eager to start working on the implementation of this project with our Ecuadorian partner Gransolar.”

Daniel Hidalgo, President of Gransolar: “This is a great example of a collective effort across the public and private sectors led with integrity, passion, and purpose. Ecuador is a unique place, one that has a comparative advantage due to its geographic location on the equator. Total Eren brings an unparalleled combination of knowledge, vision, and innovation. Collectively, this allows us to think bigger and aspire to create projects with real impact and purpose. Our dream is to continue to build
a sustainable future and reimagine sustainability across a range of areas such as: solar, wind, electromobility, and green hydrogen.”

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Pablo López, General Manager of Gransolar commented: “It has been 5 years of hard work to develop this emblematic project with the purpose of conserving the environment. As an Ecuadorian company, we feel an added level of responsibility to accelerate renewable projects in the country, especially in a place as unique as the Galápagos Islands. It’s been an honor to share this process with a partner that shares our same corporate values, Total Eren. We look forward to the project’s start of
construction.”

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