Powering Europe with Solar: Last Phase of Morocco’s Super Power Plant Launched

Written by | Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has launched the last stage of the development of the world’s largest solar energy plant Noor Solar in Quarzazate, thus bolstering Moroccan leadership in renewable energy. King Mohammad VI launched the works to finalize the fourth and last phase, which uses photovoltaic (PV) technology to produce electricity. The plant will have a 582 MW total capacity and will be developed for a total cost of 750 million dirhams.

Noor Solar will be implemented by Morocco’s Solar Energy Agency (MASEN) in partnership with a consortium of private companies led by Saudi Acwa Power group and German development bank KfW. KfW alone contributed 659 million dirhams. The project is part of a low carbon economy endeavor by the North African country to bring the share of renewable energies in the national electricity mix to 52% by 2030.

The second and third power stations of Noor solar complex (Noor II and Noor III) were launched at the beginning of last year. When finalized in 2018, the solar power complex, which will become the world’s largest multi-technology solar production site, will provide electricity for more than 1 million people.  A total investment will amount to 24 billion dirhams.

Morocco hopes that one day it will be able to export solar energy to Europe, which has covered about 60% of the total cost. The Ouarzazate project could also define Africa’s energy future as the first phase already surpassed expectations in terms of the amount of energy it produced. This result is in line with Morocco’s goal to reduce its fossil fuel bill by focusing on green energy and still meeting increasing energy needs at home that are growing by about 7% on average yearly over the past decade.

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