Noor solar project leads Morocco’s clean power drive
he southern Moroccan city of Ouarzazate will soon be home to Africa’s largest solar plant and the world’s biggest concentrating solar power (CSP) facility, with €6bn worth of solar projects currently in the works.
The 500-MW Ouarzazate Solar Complex (OSC) – which will occupy an area roughly the size of the capital Rabat – will harness solar power using CSP technology. As opposed to traditional photovoltaic panels, CSP uses mirrors to focus sunlight and convert it into 400°C heat to create steam that will power an energy-generating turbine.
The turnkey project’s first installation will be the 160-MW Noor I plant, with the Noor II and III facilities set to come on-line by 2018 or 2019.
Through investment in projects like the OSC, Morocco aims to exploit its 3000 annual hours of sunlight for domestic electricity production, with a view to eventually exporting power across the Mediterranean