Morocco’s 160-MW Ouarzazate CSP to go live in H1 2015 - report
Aug 12, 2014 - Morocco’s 160-MW Ouarzazate concentrated solar power (CSP) plant will become operational near the end of June 2015, Efe news agency said Monday, citing sources form the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN).
The kick-off of commercial generation of the first phase, Noor 1, is expected between March and May 2015. According to the same sources, some 40% of the construction works have already been completed.
The first phase of the CSP was awarded in September 2012 to a consortium headed by Saudi energy developer ACWA Power International, with Spanish Acciona (MCE:ANA) being the main constructor. The value of the contract stood at USD 1 billion (EUR 774m). Noor 1 construction started in May 2013, employing 1,400 workers, of whom 70% local, Efe noted.
Noor 1 is part of a 500-MW solar complex planned by the Morocco government in Ouarzazate. ACWA Power and its project partners have a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the Ouarzazate CSP plant with the MASEN.
Morocco has developed an ambitious plan for the construction of five solar "megaplants" whose capacity is planned to reach 2,000 MW by 2020. The country aims to fulfill 42% of its energy needs via renewable energy sources by the end of the decade.