Noor Ouarzazate, World's Largest Solar Power Complex

Noor Ouarzazate, the first solar power project run by the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency (MASEN), is the world’s largest solar power complex with an overall capacity of 580MW. Built on an area of more than 3,000 hectares, Noor Ouarzazat includes four multi-technological solar power plants, developed in total respect of the international norms, particularly in terms of technology. The project is also associated with a research and development platform which covers more than 150 hectares.  Officially inaugurated this Thursday in Ouarzazate by HM King Mohammed VI, the first phase of Noor Ouarzazat "Noor I" was carried out under the independent power producer (IPP) scheme. This plant, which covers over 480 hectares, has a generating capacity of 160MW and is equipped with a thermal energy storage device allowing it to operate at full capacity for 3 hours without sunlight (after sunset or cloudy weather). The second and third plants of the Ouarzazate solar complex (Noor II and Noor III), whose construction works were launched this Thursday by the sovereign, adopt as well the IPP scheme for production. With thermo-solar cylindrical parabolic troughs and 7 hours of energy storage capability, the 200MW power plant (Noor II) will be built on an area of 680 hectares. Noor III, which will require an estimated budget of 645 million euros, will be built on an area of 750 hectares. The plant is an installed capacity of 150 MW, which will employ central tower technology with salt receivers and 7 to 8 hours of energy storage capability. These three projects, combined with the photovoltaic phase (Noor IV), will make Noor Ouarzazate the largest multi-technology solar production site in the world with a capacity of 580 MW and a total investment of over 24 billion dirhams, excluding common infrastructure developed by MASEN and National Electricity and Drinking Water Office (ONEE) for the needs of developers. Morocco Enjoys Global Visibility Allowing it to Reduce Its Energy Dependence, Says French Minister Morocco enjoys a "global visibility" that will allow it to reduce its energy dependence and set an example to other countries, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Segolene Royal said Thursday in Ouarzazate. "Based on this kind of projects, we will manage to fulfill our obligations in the fight against global warming", Royal told the press on the sidelines of her presence in the official commissioning ceremony of the first plant of the Noor-Ouarzazate solar complex (Noor I), and the official launch of the construction works of the second and third plants of this megaproject (Noor II and Noor III). Royal highlighted the Moroccan energy model and the "visionary" capacity of HM the King, noting that it is a "long-term" work. The minister also noted that France and Morocco, which have jointly committed to guarantee their own energy transition, "can become leaders to help Africa get electricity through the transfer of technology and know-how". "Cooperation between Morocco and France in the field of renewable energy will push forward the decision taken at the Paris Conference on the electrification of Africa from renewable energy", she underlined.


© Copyright Embassy of The Kingdom of Morocco 2009