Morocco is the Middle East’s largest energy importer, and has depended on fossil fuel imports to generate over 97 percent of its energy. The Noor-Ouarzazate Concentrated Solar Power Project will support the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy to finance the expansion of Morocco’s first utility-scale solar energy complex, helping increase its capacity and output, especially during peak hours
Following a contract recently won in Morocco, the technology and engineering group SENER is beginning construction of the Noor II and Noor III thermosolar plants. Together with Noor I, this project will be the largest thermosolar complex in the world, with a total production capacity of more than 510 MW; SENER’s contract is worth over 500 million Euros.
The complex, located near the Moroccan city of Ouarzazate, is made up of four plants. Three of its plants are equipped with thermosolar technology; Noor I has a production capacity of 160 MW and is equipped with the SENER trough cylindrical parabolic troughs and will become operational later this year.
“Morocco stands at the forefront of climate-friendly policies in the region,” said Inger Andersen, World Bank Regional Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa. “The country is well-positioned to benefit from its head-start at a time when other regional powers are beginning to think more seriously about their own renewable energy programs.
With its bold investment in green energy, Morocco is also setting a global example for the kinds of actions called for at last year’s United Nations Climate Summit. The expanded solar plant is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 700,000 tons per year. While delivering these environmental benefits, this project will also contribute to energy security, job creation, and energy exports
“Apart from creating jobs, the construction of the plant and the development of Morocco’s Solar Plan will establish a future source of reliable green energy,” said Simon Gray, World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb. “The Noor-Ouarzazate Solar Complex alone will supply power to 1.1 million Moroccans by 2018.”
Having been responsible for everything from the turnkey construction to the commissioning of the Noor I plant, SENER recently won the contract to carry out the turnkey construction of the Noor II and Noor III phases along with SEPCO III.
All three power plants incorporate a molten salt storage system which makes it possible to produce electricity if there is insufficient solar radiation.
Sources: The World Bank, Sener
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