Africa’s largest solar farm gets finance complement.

The African Development Bank (AfBD) has granted two loans worth a total of €176m (£139m) for the second phase of Africa’s largest Solar Power station in Morocco .

The second phase of the project aims to develop two new power stations in the Ouarzazate complex, with a total capacity of around 350MW and average estimated cumulative production of over 1,100GWh per year.

The project is part of the Moroccan Solar Energy Programme (NOOR), which aims to develop minimum capacity of 2,000MW by 2020 in order to secure power supplies. Morocco currently depends on external sources for 95% of its primary energy needs. The country’s energy consumption increased by an average of 7.2% between 2002 and 2012. Looking ahead to 2030, Morocco’s demand for primary energy is expected to triple, whilst demand for electricity is set to quadruple. The country has made securing its power supply a priority.

This is the second project funded by the AfDB at the Ouarzazate solar complex. The first, in 2012, involved a loan of €100m from the Bank’s own resources and a loan of US$100m from the Clean Technologies Fund towards the completion of the first phase of the NOOR Ouarzazate complex.

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Work on the first phase began last year and the first 160MW solar power station is scheduled to come into operation by the end of 2015.

The African Development Bank Group published this article on their website, exerpt of which is reproduced below :

Largest concentrated solar plant in Africa reducing Morocco’s dependency on external power

Noor I, II and III concentrate solar plants are expected to generate 510 MW of power by end 2018

Project snapshot – Ouarzazate solar complex (NOOR I, II and III solar plants)

AfDB related financing: €200 million from AfDB (Noor I, II and III); €200 million from the Clean Technology Fund (Noor I, II and III)

Construction of two concentrated solar power plants with parabolic troughs with 3 hour (Noor I), 7 hour (Noor II), and a concentrated solar power plant with tower 7-8 hour (Noor III) storage capacity

The Expected impacts are :

  • Reduction in the country’s energy dependence through the additional production of: 160 MW power generation expected by end 2015 from Noor I and an additional 350 MW power generation expected by end 2018 from Noor II and Noor III
  • Reduction in CO2 emissions by 762,000 tons per year, or 19 million tons over 25 years from Noor I, II and III
  • Realization of its 42 percent renewable energy objective in its energy mix by 2020 and the development of a local renewable energy industry
  • 250 permanent jobs and 2,400 temporary jobs created during construction of Noor I and additional employment expected from construction of Noor II and III

Further reading of this article is on the above mentioned AfDB’s website.