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International Consortium Wins Morocco’s ‘Noor Midelt 1’ Solar Deal

International Consortium Wins Morocco’s ‘Noor Midelt 1’ Solar Deal

Thursday, 23 May, 2019 - 06:45
Morocco’s Noor Ouarzazate solar plant. (Reuters)
Casablanca - Lahcen Mokena
A consortium led by French EDF Renewables won a tender to build an 800 megawatt solar plant near the Moroccan city of Midelt.

The consortium to build the AED7.57 billion ($797 million) plant also includes UAE’s Masdar and Morocco’s Green Energy of Africa.

“We are satisfied with the results of this bid process and confident in the capabilities of this consortium to manage this project, which will constitute a technological break-up project and change the features of Midelt and Ouarzazate cities,” said Mustapha Bakkoury, chairman of the executive management of the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen), which oversaw the deal.

The project is funded by several international institutions, namely the European Investment Bank, the German bank of KfW, the French Development Agency, the European Commission, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the Clean Technology Fund.

Dubbed Noor Midelt 1, the plant will use a hybrid system of concentrated solar plant (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) technologies to produce 800 MW of renewable energy, with a storage capacity of five hours.

The hybrid technology will optimize energy production, leading to competitive pricing (AED0.68 per Kw/hr at peak time).

The project is part of the Noor solar plant project that was launched by King Mohammed VI and will be larger than the already operating 580 MW Noor Ouarzazate CSP plant in southeastern Morocco, which was completed by Saudi ACWA Power, Masen said in a statement.

It is the first phase of a new multi-technology solar module in Midelt and is part of Morocco's ambitious goal to produce 42 percent of its electrical power from renewable energy by 2020 and 52 percent by 2030.

According to the statement, construction will start in autumn 2019. Preliminary infrastructure works in the area have already been completed, including the construction of a 40km road allowing access to the complex, and the installation of a 50km long electric cable.

Moroccan companies carried out the preliminary works, creating over 300 jobs, it noted.

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