Solar power in Morocco

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Solar powered well in Rhamna, near Marrakech
Solar resources in Morocco

Solar power in Morocco is enabled by the country having one of the highest rates of solar insolation among other countries— about 3,000 hours per year of sunshine but up to 3,600 hours in the desert. Morocco has launched one of the world’s largest solar energy projects costing an estimated $9 billion. The aim of the project is to create 2,000 megawatts of solar generation capacity by the year 2020.[1] Five solar power stations are to be constructed, including both photovoltaic and concentrated solar power technology. The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), a public-private venture, has been established to lead the project. The first plant will be commissioned in 2015,[2] and the entire project in 2020.[3] Once completed, the solar project will provide 38% of Morocco’s annual electricity generation.

Morocco is the only African country to have a power cable link to Europe (1,400 or 2,100 MW).[4] The cable sent 5756 GWh from Spain to Morocco in 2017, and very little the opposite way.[5] Morocco aims to benefit from the €400bn ($573.8bn) expected to come from the ambitious pan-continental Desertec Industrial Initiative.

Ouarzazate solar plant[edit]

The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy invited expressions of interest in the design, construction, operation, maintenance and financing of the first of the five planned solar power stations, the 500 MW complex in the southern town of Ouarzazate, that includes both PV and CSP. Construction officially began on 10 May 2013.[6] The project is divided in 3 phases: a 160MW concentrated solar power project, a 200MW parabolic mirror plant, and a 150MW solar trough plant.[7][8]

The 160 MW first phase, Noor I, was brought online in February 2016.[9] The project was awarded to a consortium led by Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power, which sells the electricity produced for $0.19/kW·h, and co-financed by the World Bank and the European Investment Bank.[10] The second phase, the 200 MW Noor 2 plant, came online in January 2018, and the third phase is expected to come online by the end of 2018. These two phases provide another 580 MW and cover 6,000 acres.[11]

Largest solar power plants[edit]

Morocco Renewable Energy solar projects to be installed between now and 2030

Name Output (MW) Location Technology Status Notes
Ain Beni Mathar 20[12] Ain Bni Mathar Parabolic trough complete Also runs on fossil fuels (Gas)
Noor I 160 Drâa-Tafilalet Parabolic trough complete Part of Ouarzazate Solar Power Station
Noor II 200 Drâa-Tafilalet Parabolic trough complete Part of Ouarzazate Solar Power Station
Noor III 150 Drâa-Tafilalet solar power tower complete Part of Ouarzazate Solar Power Station
Noor IV 72 Drâa-Tafilalet Photovoltaics with tracking complete Part of Ouarzazate Solar Power Station

Planned[edit]

Name Output Location Technology Status Notes
Sebkhate Tah 500MW
Foum Al-Oued 500MW
Boujdour 100 MW Planned
Noor Midelt 800 MW
Noor PV II 800MW Taroudant, Kalâat Seraghna, Bejaâd, Guercif, El Hajeb
Noor-Tafilalet 120 MW Zagora, Erfoud and Missour Planned
Noor Atlas 800MW Tata/Tahla/Tan Tan/Outat El Haj/Ain Beni Mathar/Boudnib/Bouanane/Boulemane Photovoltaics
Noor Argana 200 MW Boumalne/Tinghir/Errhamna/Essaouira Photovoltaics

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ AfDB helps fund $1.44bn Moroccan solar project
  2. ^ Morocco Building 500 MW Solar Power Project
  3. ^ Louis Boisgibault, Fahad Al Kabbani (2020): Energy Transition in Metropolises, Rural Areas and Deserts. Wiley - ISTE. (Energy series) ISBN 9781786304995.
  4. ^ Farge, Emma. "Morocco to upgrade power link with Spain". U.S. Retrieved 2018-11-22.
  5. ^ "Electricity interconnections with neighbouring countries: second report of the Commission expert group on interconnection targets". 2019: 16. doi:10.2833/092722. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ "Morocco launches solar mega-project at Ouarzazate". phys.org. AFP. 10 May 2013. Archived from the original on 1 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  7. ^ Construction begins on 160 MW CSP plant in Morocco, pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/construction-begins-on-160-mw-csp-plant-in-morocco-_100011255/#axzz3OWLu4WTY
  8. ^ Saudi’s ACWA Power Wins 1.7bn Euro Morocco Solar Power Deal, Reuters, January 10, 2015
  9. ^ "World's largest concentrated solar plant switches on in the Sahara". cnn.com. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  10. ^ Saudi-led consortium wins Morocco solar energy bid
  11. ^ Jamie, Condliffe. "Morocco Switches On First Phase Of The World's Largest Solar Plant". GIZMODO. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  12. ^ Only solar output

External links[edit]