Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of Energy, Mines, and the Environment and the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) have issued a call for projects relating to the multi-site solar program Noor PV II – phase 1, starting January 1, 2021.
MASEN invited interested companies to submit their applications before January 31 at 4 p.m. Moroccan time, said a joint press release MASEN and the Ministry of Energy issued on Thursday, December 31.
Morocco’s sustainable energy agency proceeds with the call for projects for the first phase of the Noor PV II multi-site solar program following a call for expression of interest and considering the strong interest national and international operators have expressed, explained the press release. The newly issued call for projects constitutes the second and last step of the selection process of private operators for the solar power project.
In January 2020, the agency and the ministry launched a Capacity Allocation Program in qualified sites that MASEN has equipped for the development of photovoltaic (PV) projects, with a total power of approximately 400 megawatts. In order to allow the various successful bidders, selected at the end of the competitive process, to develop photovoltaic projects, MASEN will provide them access to these qualified sites as well as to the national electricity network.
According to economic news outlet L’Economiste, the selection of bidders takes into account a series of criteria including suitability for solar PV technology, accessibility, topography, environmental acceptability, and lack of competition with other economic activities. These pre-equipped sites are located near Sidi Bennour, Kelaa Sraghna, Taroudant, Bejaad, El Hajeb, and Ain Beni Mathar, adds the same source.
The project is part of Morocco’s Noor solar program, launched in 2009, which aims to source a minimum of 2,000 megawatts from national solar facilities. The Noor Ouarzazate solar complex is the largest concentrated solar power station in the world. These projects are part of Morocco’s goal to source 52% of its energy from renewables by 2030.
The country has invested heavily in the field of renewable energies over the last decade. Moroccan Minister of Energy Aziz Rabbah said that the country invested over MAD 52 billion ($5.65 billion) in the field over the last 10 years. Morocco has a promising potential to become a self-sufficient producer of electricity. According to a report Morocco’s Economic, Social, and Environmental Council published in 2020, Morocco could produce 96% of its electricity using renewable energy by 2050 if the country implements a strategy to accelerate the energy transition.