By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, Freetown, Sierra Leone- The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) has announced that a consortium including United Arab Emirate – based Masdar has been awarded the tender for the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the Noor Midelt Phase 1 solar power plant.
The consortium which also includes EDF Renewables and Green of Africa, will develop the project which have a total installed capacity of 800mw.
Construction of the plant that is located 20km north of the town of midelt in Central Morocco is expected to start towards the end of 2019, which delivery of the first electricity to the grid is planned from 2022.
It is the world’s first advanced hybridization of concentrated solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) technologies.
On completion, it will provide 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.
“Masdar is honored 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 – CEO of Masdar.
“We applaud Morocco’s bold renewable energy vision and its commitment to the large-scale development of a ground breaking technology combing 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.”
He added “through a shared commitment to commercializing advanced clean technology with our partners, Masdar is helping to bring another world first in renewable energy to the MENA region.”
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’s Energy 2, the joint venture led by Dubai Electricity Water Authority (DEWA) developing the 800 megawatt (MW) third Phase of the Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park in Dubai, the first 200mw stage of which was inaugurated in April, 2018.
The two companies are also partnering in the recently announced Dumat Al Jandal wind farm, which at 400mn will be Saudi Arabia’s first and the MENA region’s largest wind energy project.
Some other place in Morocco, Masdar announced last year that, it had helped to equip nearly 20,000 homes with solar panels and household appliances.
“Masdar remains commited to Morocco’s long term energy goals and we expect this project t further raise the profile of renewables as a provider of reliable and cost effect clean power in the Middle East and North Africa region.” Said
For New Africa Business News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent