800 MW solar power plants for Morocco

Morocco is to launch tenders for the construction of two solar power plants with a combined capacity of up to 800 MW by the start of 2017, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen) has announced.
Morocco solar power
The agency invited pre-qualification bids from investors last month for the construction and operation of the plants, which will be built near the central town of Midelt.

Morocco recently expanded a 2009 solar and wind power initiative and now aims to produce 10 GW by 2030 rather than 4 GW by 2020.

Under the new plan, 52 per cent of Morocco's energy needs would come renewable sources, up from about 28 per cent of installed capacity now.

Masen has chosen a hybrid system which uses concentrated solar plant (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The CSP part will use a parabolic trough heating synthetic oil with a gross capacity of 150 MW to 190 MW and a minimum of five hours full-load storage to cover peak hours after sunset, Masen said.

Morocco has already secured a $765m loan from German state-owned bank KFW to finance some of the cost of the two plants, which bankers estimate at $2bn.

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