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Morocco Breaks New Record with 800 MW Midelt 1 CSP-PV at 7 Cents

May 24, 2019 |
 by Susan Kraemer

CSP auction price trends IMAGE @IRENA

Morocco’s 800 MW CSP-PV Noor Midelt breaks last year’s auction price record of 7.3 cents set by DEWA in the UAE, with winning bid at USD 7 cents/kWh

The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) has announced that the consortium of EDF Renewables, Masdar, and Green of Africa – a joint venture between three Moroccan groups; FinanceCom, Akwa Group and AMHAL – has been awarded the tender for the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the Noor Midelt Phase 1 multi-technologies solar power plant.

The project, which will have a total installed capacity of 800 MW, is the world’s first advanced hybridisation of concentrated solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) technologies. On completion, it will provide dispatchable solar energy during the day and until five hours after sunset for a record-low tariff at peak hours of 0.68 Moroccan dirhams per kilowatt-hour.

7 cents kWh record set in Morocco CSP-PV hybrid

USD 7 cents/kWh new record set in Morocco CSP-PV hybrid IMAGE@MASEN

Noor Midelt is one of the solar projects under Morocco’s Noor Solar Plan to reach a total capacity of 2 GW (2,000 MW) by 2020. The first – entirely CSP – was completed in 2018, the Noor I, II,and III, Noor Ouarzazate which at 510 MW is the largest CSP project worldwide, comprising 150 MW of tower and 360 MW of trough CSP.

(How CSP works: trough, tower, Fresnel, dish)

Noor Midelt Phase 1 is the third project that EDF Renewables and Masdar will be working on together. EDF Renewables is a partner in Shua’a Energy 2, the joint venture led by Dubai Electricity Water Authority (DEWA) developing the 800 MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, the first 200 MW stage of which was inaugurated in April 2018.

The two companies are also partners in the recently announced Dumat Al Jandal wind farm, which at 400 MW will be Saudi Arabia’s first and the MENA region’s largest wind energy project.

Elsewhere in Morocco, Masdar announced last year that it had helped to equip nearly 20,000 homes with solar panels and household appliances, under the Morocco Solar Home Systems (SHS) project led by the Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) which extended renewable energy access to more than 1,000 villages.

Construction of the Noor Midelt Phase 1 plant, located 20km north of the town of Midelt in central Morocco, is expected to start towards the end of 2019, while delivery of the first electricity to the grid is planned from 2022.

Climate Policy that Actually Works: How Morocco is Meeting its Clean Energy Goals

“Masdar is honoured to leverage its global expertise and experience in CSP and PV technologies as part of the consortium chosen to develop the Noor Midelt Phase 1 multi-technologies solar power plant,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar.

“We applaud Morocco’s bold renewable energy vision and its commitment to the large-scale development of a groundbreaking technology combining solar power with storage, which will achieve new levels of cost and operational efficiency. This project marks a key step in the transition of renewable energy from its traditional peak-shaving role in meeting power demand to becoming a baseload electricity provider in the future.”

“Through a shared commitment to commercialising advanced clean technology with our partners, Masdar is helping to bring another world-first in renewable energy to the MENA region,” Al Ramahi added.

“Masdar remains committed to Morocco’s long-term energy goals, and we expect this project to further raise the profile of renewables as a provider of reliable and cost-effect clean power in the Middle East and North Africa region,” he said.

“It is now cheaper to build renewable energy power plants than those based on fossil fuels, and this is increasingly evident in the Middle East and North Africa.”

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