On February 4th King Mohammed VI inaugurated the Noor solar power plant in the presence of political figures from Morocco and abroad.
It is the first phase of the major project to be achieved, and illustrates the determination of the country to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and use more renewable energy.
Managed by MASEN (The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy), the station spanning over 450 hectares, is expected to generate 160 megawatts of power. The complex is made up of 500,000 curved reflective panels in 800 rows
The construction of the Noor 1 power station was done in just 30 months and involved more than 2,000 workers, 85% of whom were Moroccan.’ indicated Mustapha Bakkoury, president of the MASEN management board.
In all, four stations, three thermo-solar and one Photovoltaic, are planned for the Ouarzazate complex - the largest of its kind in the world. It is expected to produce 500 MW and cover a total of 2,500 hectares. The annual production of 1,150 Gigawatts will supply energy to 1.1 million Moroccans by 2018.
In the long run, other solar energy plants are expected in Morocco. They are located a few hundred kilometres from Ouarzazate near Midelt and Tata and should be producing 2,000 MW within five years.
These efforts should reduce the countries dependence on oil by 2.5 million tons and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 760,000 tons a year.
The inauguration of this first station comes just a few months before the organisation of the next climate conference, COP22, in Marrakech next November.
Source: Huffington Post Maghreb