EDF and Masdar have hit a home run with a huge win under Morocco’s ambitious and aggressive renewable energy program.
The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) announced recently that it awarded 800-megawatt Noor Midelt I project to a consortium of EDF Renewables and Masdar Group. The project will be located in the northern part of Morocco and will host a combination of solar PV and concentrated solar power technologies.
The project was awarded to the consortium following an international auction, however, other participants are unknown at this moment. Like other CSP projects in Morocco, this project will also be equipped with a storage facility with capacity to inject energy into the grid for a period of five hours after sunset.
Construction for the project is expected to begin in Q4 2019, and it is expected to be commissioned in 2022. The power plant is part of an ambitious plan announced by Morocco to source 52% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030.
EDF Renewables and Masdar have collaborated earlier as well for large-scale renewable energy projects. The consortium secured rights to develop the 800 megawatt phase 3 of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park at Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The two companies also won the first-ever wind energy auction held in Saudi Arabia earlier this year. The consortium shall develop a 400 megawatt wind energy project in the country.
Morocco has auctioned a number of solar power projects in the recent past. It is notable that all the auctions, except this recent one, have been secured by consortia led by Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power. The solar power projects currently operational or being executed by ACWA Power in Morocco are:
- Noor Boujdour, 20 megawatt, solar PV project
- Noor Laayoune, 85 megawatt, solar PV project
- Noor Ouarzazate IV, 72 megawatt, solar PV project
- Noor Ouarzazate I, 160 megawatt, CSP project with storage (parabolic trough technology)
- Noor Ouarzazate II, 200 megawatt, CSP project with storage (parabolic trough technology)
- Noor Ouarzazate III, 150 megawatt, CSP project with storage (solar tower technology)
ACWA Power also operates a 120 megawatt wind energy project in Morocco.