Ouarzazate hosts the world's newest and largest solar power plant
Ouarzazate is a beautiful town located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains and north of the Sahara in south-central Morocco, it has been the interface between the Mediterranean and tropical worlds. The city is also known as a famed location for international filmmaking, where films such as "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962), "The Mummy" (1999), "Gladiator" (2000), and "Kingdom of Heaven" (2005) were shot, as was part of the television series "Game of Thrones". City of Ouarzazate is available on the international airport and Polydisciplinary Faculty as Extension of the University of Ibn Zohr in Agadir. Ouarzazate, easily reached from Marrakech by bus, taxi or car rental, a 4 hours drive across the High Atlas Mountains via the famous Tizi n'Tichka Pass 2260m, is the main access point and crossroads of the southern Morocco.
That is not all what Ouarzazate has to offer as its name has recently been associated with a Solar mega-project. The Ouarzazate Solar Complex, also known as NOOR CSP-PV with a total capacity of 580 MW will produce an estimated output of 1.2 TWh/year to meet power demand of more than one million population when it is completed in 2018. The first phase of Ouarzazate solar project, known as NOOR 1 CSP, is a 160-MW parabolic trough type with 3-hour storage which has been switched on in February 2016. NOOR 2 is being built as the second part of the Ouarzazate Solar Power Complex. It will be a 200 MW concentrated solar power project using parabolic troughs, with a dry cooling system and 7-hour energy storage. NOOR 3 is being built as the third part of the Ouarzazate Solar Power Complex. It will be a 150 MW CSP solar project using a solar tower and 8-hour energy storage. NOOR 4 will be a 80 MW photovoltaic solar plant.
Morocco plans to add about 10,100 MW of renewable power capacity
Between 2016 and 2030, Morocco aims to create an additional 10,100 MW at least of electricity from renewables. Around 4,560 MW will come from solar power while 4,200 MW will come from wind and another 1,330 MW from hydropower.
If the goal is fulfilled, in 2030, wind and solar will each represent 20% of the generation mix in Morocco and hydro power will contribute about 12%.
To fund projects, $30 billion of investment will be required, according to the Moroccan Ministry of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development.
Autor: Mustapha AYAITA, REUNET