Backed up by the plan in support for renewable energy and in particular solar thermal energy, developed by the Spanish Government in recent years, Spanish construction and engineering firms now have the opportunity to do business beyond our borders and return the effort in the form of currency. We are talking about the award of the first CSP plant to be built in Morocco to the consortium formed by the Saudi ACWA POWER, and Spanish TSK, and ARIES. The Moroccan authority for solar energy (MASEN) has officially informed of the decision and the 160MW plant will be built in the region of Ouarzazate, south of the country to the edges of the Sahara desert. The investment of this plant is 775 million Euros.
For technical and economic development of the entire scope of supply and subsequent construction of the plant in the form of “turnkey” the consortium signed an agreement with the joint venture of Spanish companies TSK – ACCIONA – SENER to jointly participate in the process that has resulted in the award by MASEN. The project involves the construction of one of the largest solar thermal power plants in the world: 160 MW of installed nominal power that comprises a 4-hour thermal storage utilizing molten salt, which will enable power generation during the hours of sun absence, using the thermal energy stored to meet peak hours demand and providing the plant the manageability that other renewable energies can not offer.
This project is the first within an ambitious solar development plan with which Morocco aims to become a benchmark in the industry in North Africa, leveraging investments of USD 18,950 million (12,350 million euros) and creating 50,000 jobs. The project counts on international funding led by the World Bank and the African Development Bank, together with the French Development Agency, the European Investment Bank, the European Commission, the Clean Technology Fund and KfW Bankengruppe. Associated investments will account for 775 million euros.
In a public release, the company ”Invest in Morocco” explains that the country”s solar plan promoted by the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy, aims to install 2,000 megawatts (MW) by 2020. Ouarzazate complex is the first Moroccan Solar Plan, which envisages an investment of 9,000 million dollars (6,900 million euros) for the construction of five solar thermal power plants in the country. The main objectives of this plan are, on top of the installation of 2,000 MW, to increase the percentage of electricity from solar energy to reach a total of 14%, to save fuel up to one million tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE) and avoid emission of 3.7 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
Also noteworthy is the continued support in our country for research in these technologies for over thirty years. It should be reminded that today, along with Morocco, countries like South Africa, United States, Australia, United Arab Emirates and India are already developing projects with this and other solar technologies, and that these countries will be joined in the short term by France, Italy, Cyprus