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Published on January 11th, 2016 | by Saurabh Mahapatra


Morocco Floats Tender For 400 MW Solar Power Project

January 11th, 2016 by  

Expanding on its solar power base with a target to significantly increase the share of renewable energy and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, Morocco has floated a tender for a large-scale solar power project.

The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) has invited bids from prospective project developers to set up a hybrid solar power project. The project will have a total installed capacity of 400 MW and will include systems based on solar photovoltaic as well as solar thermal power generation technology.

Morocco is already working on one of the largest solar power projects in the world. The Noor-Ouarzazate project also uses hybrid solar power technology. Phase 1 includes Noor I, which comprises a 160 MW parabolic trough-power project and is in the advanced stages of construction. Phase 2 includes two projects, called Noor II and Noor III, with capacities of 200 MW and 150 MW respectively. Noor II will be based on parabolic technology whereas Noor III will be developed using power tower technology. Phase 3 of Noor-Ouarzazate project (Noor IV) will include development of a 50 MW solar photovoltaic power plant.

Once completed, the Noor-Ouarzazate project will contribute 18% of Morocco’s annual electricity generation. The project is a part of Morocco’s Solar Energy Program, which aims to install 2 GW of solar power capacity by 2020. The program includes the implementation of 5 solar power projects spread over an area of 10,000 hectares.

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A young solar enthusiast from India keeping an eye on all regulatory, policy and market updates from one of the fastest emerging solar power markets in the world.

  • JamesWimberley

    One key point here is that the location of the new project is no longer Ouarzazate, an oasis in the flat desert beyond the Atlas, but Midelt in north-central Morocco west of the high Atlas, with slightly worse insolation but much better grid connections.

  • omar

    Its not Noor-Quarzazate, its Noor-Ouarzazate. please correct as you did later in the article

  • Harry Johnson

    Not mentioned is that these projects will have thermal storage meaning power can be generated up to 8 hours after the sun sets. This is where solar thermal really works best. They should revise the power tower phase into parabolic trough or a Fresnel system because the tower concept is proving to require perfect weather conditions to work well.
    Morocco is suddenly becoming a world leader with clean solar power and proves other nations have a viable alternative to importing energy.

    • Steven F

      “They should revise the power tower phase into parabolic trough or a Fresnel system because the tower concept is proving to require perfect weather conditions to work well.”

      Source? Cresent Dunes in the US appears to be doing fine without any of the problems Ivanpah has had.

      • Harry Johnson

        That’s great news for Crescent Dunes. What’s your source?

        • Steven F

          With all the news and controversy about problems at Ivanpah the news and opposition groups would pounce on Crescent Dunes if there were problems. But the news and oposition groups have been very quiet about it. But that said there is a second molten salt thermal solar plant gemasolar in Spain. It was built as a followup of the successful solar two US government project. Gemasolar went on line 2011 and is rated at 20MW and is being used as a base load power plant. It produces power 24 hours a day and it has performed “above expectations”. And has produced power continuously for 36 days straight. No dead birds or power production problems have been reported at Gemasolar. Noor III is a scaled up version of Gemasolar.

          • xoussef

            Where Morocco ‘s government is concerned, another advantage of solar thermal is that, unlike photovoltaic that are cornered by china, Moroccan companies can possibly manufacture parts and subcontract on future projects in Morocco and perhaps Africa and the middle east.

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