Solar power in Morocco

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Solar powered well in Rhamna, near Marrakech
Solar resources in Morocco and Western Sahara
Desertec plan

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. Once completed, the solar project will provide 38% of Morocco’s annual electricity generation.

Morocco, the only African country to have a power cable link to Europe, 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. A 160 MW first phase ("Noor 1") was awarded to a consortium, led by Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power, which will sell the electricity produced for $0.19/kW·h. The project is also co-financed by the World Bank and the European Investment Bank.[3] In February 2016 the Noor 1 installation was brought online.[4] At that time the remaining two phases, Noor 2 and Noor 3, were expected to come online by 2018 providing another 580 MW and covering 6,000 acres.[5]

Construction officially began on 10 May 2013.[6] The 500MW project is divided among three projects: a 160MW concentrated solar power project, a 200MW parabolic mirror plant, and a 150MW solar trough plant.[7][8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ AfDB helps fund $1.44bn Moroccan solar project
  2. ^ Morocco Building 500 MW Solar Power Project
  3. ^ Saudi-led consortium wins Morocco solar energy bid
  4. ^ "World's largest concentrated solar plant switches on in the Sahara". cnn.com. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  5. ^ Jamie, Condliffe. "Morocco Switches On First Phase Of The World's Largest Solar Plant". GIZMODO. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  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

External links[edit]