King Mohammed VI has launched on Saturday the final stage of the Noor Ouarzazate solar power complex, which will become the world’s largest when completed in 2018.
The new project, Noor Ouarzazate IV, has a capacity of 72 MW and requires an investment worth over 750 million dirhams. It uses photovoltaic technology, which makes it possible to produce electrical energy directly from the solar radiation captured by semi-conductor cells.
The solar energy project mirrors the Moroccan ruler’s willingness to optimize the exploitation of the country’s natural resources, preserve its environment, promote its economic and social development and ensure a bright future for upcoming generations.
The King’s keen interest in promoting renewable energy projects also reflects his desire to enhance Morocco’s expertise in an innovative technology that will benefit both Morocco and the African continent as a whole.
Besides, the Noor Ouarzazate solar energy complex is in line with Morocco’s international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and its target to increase the share of renewable energies in the national electricity mix to 52 pc by 2030.
The Noor Ouarzazate IV power station, scheduled to start operating in the first quarter of 2018, will be developed as part of a partnership between the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) and a consortium of private operators led by the Saudi group ACWA POWER.
The German Development Bank, KfW Bankengruppe, is contributing a 659 million dirham-financing to the project.
Noor Ouarzazate is made up of four multi-technology solar power stations, developed in full compliance with international standards, both at the technological and environmental levels, and encompasses a research and development platform covering more than 150 hectares.
The works of Noor II and Noor III power stations were launched in February 2016.
Noor II plant, with a capacity of 200 MW, is based on solar therm-solar technology, with cylindrical parabolic sensors.
Noor III plant is using a solar power tower having a 150 MW capacity.
Noor Ouarzazate II, III and IV, combined with Noor Ouarzazate I (160 MW) that started operating in February 2016, make of Noor Ouarzazate the largest multi-technology solar production site in the world that will provide electricity for 1.1 million people. By 2020, the project that will have required a total investment of 24 billion dirhams, will allow an annual saving in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 3.7 million tons of CO2.