Morocco eyes CSP for electricity

2013-08-01 14:34
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2012-07-23 09:16

Concentrated solar power is discussed as a viable renewable energy alternative in this YouTube video.WATCH

Rabat - Morocco will launch tenders by the end of September for construction of two concentrated solar power plants of 200MW and 100MW near the southern city of Ouarzazate, government and banking sources said.

Saudi Arabia's Acwa Power is already building a 160MW plant in the Ouarzazate area under a government initiative to produce 2 gigawatts (GW) of solar power by 2020, which is the equivalent of about 38% of Morocco's current installed generation capacity.

Morocco's Solar Energy Agency (Masen) has chosen parabolic mirror technology for the 200MW concentrated solar plant, and the 100MW plant will also be built as a solar power tower, the sources said.

"The capacity... will depend on the contractors, who could bid for more than the announced capacity, especially with the 100MW tower which could reach 200m, the highest tower ever seen in Morocco," one of the sources said.

Acwa Power won the contract for the first plant in 2012 after offering a price of 1.62 dirhams ($0.19) per kilowatt/hour that it produces from the plant.

State power utility ONEE has also agreed with international lenders to build around 10 solar photovoltaic plants around the country to generate 30MW each to help stabilise its electricity network as it faces growing demand.

The World Bank's Clean Technology Fund, the European Investment Bank and German state-owned KfW Bank have given their initial agreement to help finance the project, with the official announcement expected in the coming weeks, the sources said.

Last week, Chinese firm Sepco III signed a contract to build a 318MW coal-fired plant in Morocco, which is seeking to diversify production and export electricity to energy-hungry Europe.

Morocco is spending heavily to subsidise power production. It currently imports power from Spain as its consumption grows by around 7% year.
Read more on:    renewable energy

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