Next month Morocco opens one of the world’s largest solar thermal plants. About $9bn has been invested in the three phased Noor complex. On completion, the project will be the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant
Morocco will next month open one of the world’s largest solar thermal plants at Ouarzazate, which upon completion will be the world’s largest, supplying power to one million people, The Guardian reports.The mega plant, situated outside the city of Ourrzazate, is the same size as the country’s capital Rabat and it will generate 580 megawatts of electricity. The project is part of the country’s plan to be a leading renewable energy exporter in the world.
Morocco’s environment minister Hakima el Haite told the BBC, “We are convinced that climate change is an opportunity for our country”.
The solar plant will be able to generate power even during the night using giant movable mirrors, which harness sunlight to melt salt. According to reports, Phase One or Noor one “can store heat energy for three hours, allowing the plant to power homes into the night”.
“Noor 2 and 3 plants, due to open in 2017 will store energy for up to eight hours – opening the prospect of 24/7 solar energy in the Sahara, and the surrounding region,” The Guardian reports.
According to the World Bank, “The African continent is well endowed with energy resources but most remain untapped”. With abundant desert sunshine, Morocco is well positioned to become a solar super producer.
The country has been heavily dependent on fossil fuels but with about $9bn having been invested in the Noor complex, Morocco is set to become one of the world largest solar energy producer. With these investments, reports suggest that, “solar energy will make up a third of Morocco’s renewable energy supply by 2020, with wind and hydro taking the same share each”.
Source: The Guardian