GE (NYSE: GE) announced it will supply 56 1.7-100 wind turbines for its first wind power farm in North Africa developed by Energie Eolienne du Maroc (EEM), a leading developer of wind projects and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nareva Holding. The 100 MW wind farm will be located near Akhfennir in southern Morocco.
GE’s 1.7-100 wind turbines will produce wind power in Morocco to help meet the country’s renewable energy goals, while offering EEM enhanced economic returns demonstrating wind’s competitiveness with alternative forms of generation.
GE’s chairman and chief executive officer Jeff Immelt and Ahmed Nakkouch, chief executive officer of Nareva Holding witnessed the contract signing between Nabil Habayeb, president and chief executive officer, GE - Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, and Mohamed Sebti, Energy Pole Director Nareva Holding. During his visit to the Kingdom this week, Jeff Immelt also met His Excellency Abdelkader Amara, Moroccan Minister of Energy, Mines, Water & Environment, extending support to Morocco’s energy development plans.
The agreement by GE complements the government of Morocco’s Integrated Wind Energy Project, which aims to generate 2,000 MW of wind power by 2020 through an investment of Moroccan Dirhams 31.5 billion.
“This agreement highlights our commitment to Morocco’s wind energy development,” Immelt said. “Building on our power generation heritage of over 100 years, our wind turbine technology is a strong fit to help Morocco meet its wind power goal and support the country’s industrialization.”
“Morocco is taking significant strides in achieving the Integrated Wind Energy Strategy to increase wind’s portion of the national energy mix to over 14 percent by 2020,” Nakkouch said. “Additionally, this farm will help by adding renewable power to the grid and help meet the country’s growing demand for power. GE’s wind turbines have proven performance and reliability, adding further value to the project.”
GE’s 1.7-100 wind turbines are built on an evolution of high performance turbines in order to generate competitive economic returns and capacity factor. GE’s global fleet of more than 23,000 wind turbines provides more than 37 gigawatts (GW) of installed wind energy capacity, and operates with over 98 percent availability.
The power generated by the plant is intended to support industrial companies under Morocco’s Power Purchase Agreement, thus further stimulating the economy by creating new jobs and supporting the local supply chain.
Akhfennir is one of the wind farms in the first phase of the Moroccan Integrated Wind Energy project to produce over 720 MW. Five new sites are being planned to utilize Morocco’s strong potential in wind power, estimated at 25,000 MW. Morocco’s Renewable Energy Law (No.13-09) supports energy production from renewable resources.
With a presence in Morocco for nearly two decades, GE’s advanced technologies in energy, healthcare, aviation and transportation, are an ideal fit to the needs of the country in building its infrastructure. GE has an office in Rabat, as well as a joint venture called Powerex. A JV of GE and Mitsubishi in Tangier, Powerex manufactures high-tech semiconductor solutions, and is a strong example of GE’s commitment to bringing advanced technologies to Morocco.