Construction of the solar plant, located in central Morocco, is expected to deliver first electricity to the grid from 2022
The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) has announced that a consortium including UAE-based Masdar has been awarded the tender for the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the Noor Midelt phase 1 solar power plant.
The consortium, which also includes EDF Renewables and Green of Africa, will develop the project, which will have a total installed capacity of 800MW.
Construction of the plant, located 20km north of the town of Midelt in central Morocco, is expected to start towards the end of 2019, while delivery of the first electricity to the grid is planned from 2022.
It is the world’s first advanced hybridisation of concentrated solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) technologies, a statement said.
On completion, it will provide solar energy during the day and until five hours after sunset for a record-low tariff at peak hours of 0.68 Moroccan dirhams per kilowatt-hour, it added.
“Masdar is honoured to leverage its global expertise and experience in CSP and PV technologies as part of the consortium chosen to develop the Noor Midelt Phase 1 multi-technologies solar power plant,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar.
“We applaud Morocco’s bold renewable energy vision and its commitment to the large-scale development of a groundbreaking technology combining solar power with storage, which will achieve new levels of cost and operational efficiency. This project marks a key step in the transition of renewable energy from its traditional peak-shaving role in meeting power demand to becoming a baseload electricity provider in the future.”
He added: “Through a shared commitment to commercialising advanced clean technology with our partners, Masdar is helping to bring another world-first in renewable energy to the MENA region.”
Noor Midelt phase 1 is the third project that EDF Renewables and Masdar will be working on together. EDF Renewables is a partner in Shua’a Energy 2, the joint venture led by Dubai Electricity Water Authority (DEWA) developing the 800-megawatt (MW) third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, the first 200MW stage of which was inaugurated in April 2018.
The two companies are also partners in the recently announced Dumat Al Jandal wind farm, which at 400MW will be Saudi Arabia’s first and the MENA region's largest wind energy project.
Elsewhere in Morocco, Masdar announced last year that it had helped to equip nearly 20,000 homes with solar panels and household appliances.
“Masdar remains committed to Morocco’s long-term energy goals, and we expect this project to further raise the profile of renewables as a provider of reliable and cost-effect clean power in the Middle East and North Africa region,” said Al Ramahi.