Morocco seeks bids for 850 MW wind farm plan

Morocco's state-run power utility, ONE, has  invited companies to submit expressions of interest in five wind farm projects with a total power generation capacity of 850 MW in the energy-importing country.

ONE said will take bids until March 2 from firms or consortia for "the development, design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance" of the five projects.

Bidders who pass the preliminary, expression-of-interest phase will be invited to bid in an international tender, which will be launched in the second quarter of this year.

"The 850 MW wind farm project will be structured under a 'build, own, operate and transfer' scheme," ONE said in a statement.

Renewable energy is seen as vital to a country that has no oil or gas of its own and aims to diversify its exports to an energy-hungry trade partner, the European Union. ONE also needs to provide for a domestic electricity demand that grows by an annual 6 per cent.

The tender also includes the separate procurement and maintenance of a 200 MW wind farm.

Morocco aims to tap its wind potential to raise power generation from wind farms to 2000 MW by 2020 from 280 MW currently at a total cost of $3.6bn.

"Our studies show that we can generate up to 25000 MW from wind power alone," a government official said.

Morocco has embarked on one of the world's biggest renewable energy development plans involving solar and wind power.

The solar power plan is worth $9bn in investment and will include five power stations to account for 38 per cent of the country's installed power generation capacity by 2020.

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