Morocco

Latest Online: 2018

Ouarzazate NOOR I,II and III: 550 MW

SolarPACES-NREL database: All plant details on this CSP project: NOOR I, NOOR II, and NOOR III

Tower CSP In the foreground and Trough CSP behind it in this photo of the NOOR I,II,II CSP project at Ouarzazate

The entire 550 MW NOOR I,II III CSP project at Ouarzazate in Morocco was fully online by 2018. All three solar power plants can be seen here. In the foreground is the 150 MW Tower CSP (NOOR III, with 7 hours of thermal energy storage). Behind it are the two 200 MW Trough CSP projects (NOOR I with 3 hours and NOOR II with 7 hours of storage). The thermal energy storage in all three CSP projects is in molten salts. 

Earliest Online:

ISCC 20 MW inaugurated in 2013: Ain Beni Mathur

CSP Potential

Country data

Morocco has set a target of 42% of its total electric production being supplied by renewable energies by 2020. This plan includes a Solar Program involving the construction of 2 GW of solar energy by 2020. The Moroccan Solar Plan is being piloted by the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), an agency created in 2010.

Area
710,850_km2
Population (2012)
32 878 400
GDP (2011)
100 221 US$ mill.
Installed power capacity (2011)
6 377 MW
Electricity consumption (2011)
28 752 GWh
Generation from RE sources (2012)
9.6%
Generation from CSP (2012)
Primary energy production (2009)
0.8 MTOE
Primary energy net import (2009)
15 MTOE
Total primary energy supply (2009)
15 MTOE
Total final consumption (2009)
11.6 MTOE

Morocco is dependent on outside sources for 97% of its energy supply, mainly coal and oil. In order to conciliate between the imperatives of this dependence on foreign supplies, growing energy demand and the requirements of environmental preservation, the national energy strategy of Morocco has set a target of 42% of its total electric production being supplied by renewable energies by 2020.

The aim of the Moroccan Solar Plan is to reach 2 GW (14% of the expected installed power by 2020) of solar generation capacity by 2020, with an investment cost estimated at 9 billion US dollars. The Ouarzazate complex is the first project within the framework of the Moroccan Solar Plan. In September 2012, the consortium led by ACWA was named as preferred bidder for the first phase of the planned 500 MW solar park.The construction of the plant began in May 2013.

In January 2015, MASEN announced the result of the tender process to develop the second phase of the Ouarzazate solar power complex, which included two CSP trough plants with an aggregate capacity of 350 MW. The NOOR II project was to use parabolic trough technology with a capacity of 200 MW and 7 hours of storage and NOOR I to be 150 MW and have 3 hours of storage. The NOOR III project was to be a 150 MW solar tower plant with 7 to 8 hours of storage. Ultimately, the entire NOOR I, II and III project was enlarged to 550 MW.

At that time only one CSP project was operating in Morocco, dating back to a development started in 1999 when a grant of US$ 50 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) was committed to Morocco for a 470 MW Integrated Solar Combined Cycle project with 20 MW equivalent solar capacity. Fichtner Solar prepared the Request for Proposals (RfP) with the choice of technology being left to the bidding investors. In July 2005, the Request for Proposals for the ISCC Project at Ain Beni Mathar was sent out to the prequalified bidders by the Moroccan Office Nationale D’Electricité (ONE). In July 2007 the EPC contract was awarded by ONE to ABENER of the Abengoa group. In May 2010 the project entered into commercial operation.