In this section we outline some of Morocco’s planned renewable energy projects.
The DESERTEC concept involves the development of a trans-national super grid that integrates all types of renewable energies:
- Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power (CSP) in desert regions
- wind power in coastal areas
- hydro power in mountainous regions
- photovoltaics in sunny areas
- biomass and geothermal power where geographic conditions are favourable
The DESERTEC concept aims to build CSP plants to supply renewable energy from MENA to European countries using high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission lines, and established the industrial initiative Dii (the latter being a consortium of 55 companies including E.ON, Siemens, Munich Re and Deutsche Bank), which amongst other things will work towards developing a framework for investments, in order to achieve this aim.
Last year MASEN and Dii signed a cooperation agreement to develop a large solar project in Morocco, which would amongst other things demonstrate the feasibility of the export of solar generated electricity to Europe.
The Ouarzazate project is a planned 500MW solar plant which will be among the largest CSP plants in the world. The project is receiving finance from, amongst others, the World Bank’s Clean Technology fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It will be implemented in four phases. MASEN has invited commercial bids for Phase 1 a 160MW plant, and final bids to design, build, operate, maintain and finance the plant were recently submitted. Three groups submitted bids with the following levelised tariffs:
- Acwa Power (Saudi Arabia), Aries Ingeniería y Sistemas (Spain) and TSK Electronica y Electricidad (Spain): MAD 1.597944 (18.87 $ cents) a kWh
- Enel (Italy) and ACS Servicios Comunicaciones y Energia (Spain): MAD2.057201 a kWh
- Abeinsa (Spain), Abengoa Solar (Spain), Mitsui (Japan) and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (UAE): MAD 2.057503 a kWh
Ain Beni Mathar
Ain Beni Mathar is a 470MW hybrid solar-gas plant which will be located approximately 625 km east of the capital, Rabat. It will be the first plant to be constructed with cylinder parabolic mirror technology in Morocco. The African Development Bank is financing two-thirds of the cost of the plant, approximately €187.85 million.
The Moroccan Integrated Wind Energy Project
The Moroccan Integrated Wind Energy Project was launched in 2010, with an estimated investment of MAD31.5 billion (approximately US$3.7 billion) and aims to:
- bring installed wind capacity from 280MW to 2000MW by 2020
- increase the share of wind power in the national energy balance to 14 per cent by 2020
- achieve a production capacity from wind power of 2MW and annual production capacity of 6,600 GWh
- achieve savings of 1.5 million tonnes of fuel a year, corresponding to US$750 million dollars and prevent the emission of 5.6 million tonnes of CO² per year
The Hassan II Fund and the SIE are also responsible for creating financing schemes and business plans for each project included in Morocco’s wind power development program.
Morocco’s Office National de l’Electricité (ONE)
As part of Morocco’s Integrated Wind Energy Project, ONE has tendered for the construction of five wind farms with a total capacity of 850MW at the following locations: Tanger II 150MW; Midelt 100MW; Jbel Lahdid (Essaouira) 200MW; Tiskrad (Laayoune) 300MW; and Boujdour 100MW. The developer will design, finance, construct, operate and maintain the wind farms as IPPs. In addition, the developer and turbine supplier will also be required to extend the 50MW Koudia al-Baida Al II wind farm to a total capacity of 200MW.
ONE is also tendering a 150MW wind farm at Taza, northern Morocco, which will be constructed on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis. Mitsui and ED Energies Nouvelle have been recently named as preferred bidder. ONE will agree a 20 year offtake agreement with the chosen developer.