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MOROCCO – The world’s largest thermodynamic solar plant

MOROCCO – The world’s largest thermodynamic solar plant

It was inaugurated in February in Ouarzazate, a town beside the sandy desert of the Sahara, Noor 1, the first section of what it will become the largest solar power plant in the world. The project, part of the initiatives to fulfil the Green Plan objectives of the Moroccan Government launched in 2009, is expected to be fully completed by 2020. The structure, one completed, will occupy roughly the same area of Rabat, the capital of Morocco.

The central was built in the Sahara desert, with a project cost of Phase 1 accounting 652 million dollars, to create a plant capacity of 160 megawatts. The general plan foresees for the installation of additional 580 MW by 2020 through the solar thermal projects Noor 2 (200 MW) and Noor 3 (150 MW), and photovoltaic Noor 4.

To date the country is almost totally dependent on imported fossil fuels: 96% of the energy of the kingdom comes indeed from abroad, and costs more than $ 8 billion a year.

The construction of Noor 1, led by the Spanish consortium Acciona-TSK-Sener, foresees the involvement of local companies at the level of 32%. However, the Moroccan companies have played mainly a supporting role, providing services related to construction, engineering, installation and logistics.

The remaining parts of the plant – Noor 2 and 3, which in the intentions of the government should see the light by 2017, and Noor 4 – will have a superior storage capacity, and in this way, the Ouarzazate power plant should be capable of ensuring sources during the night and basically produce energy without any interruption. At full production, the plant should produce power for 20 hours a day and provide electricity to 1 million homes.

For the moment, the complex is intended to satisfy domestic consumption only. However, the solar Agency of Morocco said that negotiations are under way with some countries of the region, in particular with Tunisia, to conclude export agreements. 

Source: corriere.it, rinnovabili.it

Image: AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar

Image: AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar

 

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