Wind energy: Morocco inaugurated the Melloussa wind farm

Morocco inaugurated its Dahr Saadane wind farm, near Melloussa, approximately 34 km south-east of Tangiers. The wind power plant consists of 165, 850 kW wind turbines from Gamesa, for a total capacity of 140 MW, and is the largest wind farm hitherto completed in Africa.

The overall investment amounts to roughly 250 million euros, guaranteed by the Spanish-based Instituto Crédito Oficial (100 millions), the German bank KFW (50 millions), while 20 millions will come from government funding and the European Investment Bank (EIB) will finance the remaining 80 million euros.

The new wind energy facility follows the 54 MW plant inaugurated in 2000 in Koudia Al Baida (also close to Tangiers) and is included in a broader project that foresees a 2.8 billion euro investment aimed at increasing wind capacity to 2,000 MW over ten years.

The target involves generating sufficient wind energy to meet 14 percent of the national electricity consumption that is expected by 2020. This implies the installation of additional 1,720 MW of wind power, in 10 sites that have been already selected, of which two (Koudia near Tétouan and Tiskrad close to Laàyoune) will each have a capacity of 300 MW and another two (Tangiers-2 and Taza) a capacity of 150 MW each.

In general terms, the government in Rabat set the ambitious target of generating renewable energy to meet 42% of the electricity demand by 2020. Besides the 14% share provided by wind energy, the target will be achieved by generating a 14% share of Concentrating Solar Power and photovoltaic (for which an investment for over 7 billion euros is needed) and another 14% of hydro.