Morocco’s plan for 52% renewable energy strategy by 2030 takes another step forward with solar project Noor Midelt I.
The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) has announced the winning bidder for the solar project Noor Midelt I, an 800 MW solar project near Midelt, in north-eastern Morocco.
The winning consortium for Noor Midelt I is led by French company EDF Renouvelables in collaboration with UAE renewables developer and operator Masdar, as well as Moroccan company Green of Africa.
“At MASEN we are completely satisfied with the results of this bid process and trust the abilities of the consortium chosen to carry out the project. Noor Midelt I is a technologically disruptive project. There will be, in the world, a before/after Midelt, in the same way there was a before/after Ouarzazate”, MASEN stated in a press release.
The Noor Midelt solar project will be built over two phases and will be made up of two solar plants which will combine thermosolar and photovoltaic technology to produce 800 MW of renewable energy, with a storage capacity of 5 hours. The hybrid technology will optimize energy production, leading to competitive pricing (MAD 0.68 per KwH at peak time).
According to the press release, construction of Phase I will start in autumn 2019.
Preliminary infrastructure works in the area have already been completed, including the construction of a 40km road allowing access to the complex, and the installation of a 50km long electric cable.
Moroccan companies carried out the preliminary works, creating over 300 jobs.
Noor Midelt I is valued at approximately MAD 7.57 billion ($782 million). It will be financed by a range of bodies including KfW, the European Investment Bank, the French Development Agency, the European Commission, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the Clean Technology Fund, adds the press release.
The Noor Midelt I project is part of Morocco’s broader renewable energy strategy, which has promoted solar, hydroelectric and wind farm projects across the country. Morocco’s objective is to produce 52% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. In 2018, Morocco reached 35% renewable energy.
Noor Midelt will be the second thermo-photovoltaic plant in Morocco, after Noor Ouarzazate.
Noor Ourzazate is split into four phases. Phase 1 began operations in 2016. Once Phases 2, 3, and 4 are completed, Noor Ouarzazate will be the second largest solar plant in the world after Solar Star in California.