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Government officials have confirmed that Morocco’s first solar energy plant, Nour 1 in Ouarzazate will commence operations from 2015
According to project officials, the upcoming project is touted to be largest of its kind in the world. The US$770mn solar plant has a capacity to generate 160MW of power, and is aimed at satisfying growing energy needs in North Africa.
According to a KPMG report, the 160MW solar plant is being built by Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power. The World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Investment Bank are providing finances for the overall project.
Mustapha Bakkoury, CEO of Morocco’s solar energy organisation MASEN, said, “Morocco gets more than a half of its energy from coal. But as its energy requirements grow, the government is encouraging Moroccans to look for cleaner sources of energy. We need to find alternative forms of energy to meet Morocco’s needs, and the best is solar. Its unlimited, available and abundant in Morocco.
A report in Penn Energy has stated that Morocco is expected to build five new solar plants worth US$9bn by 2020 with a combined production capacity of 2,000MW.