Morocco seeks bids for 850 MW wind farm plan

Morocco seeks bids for 850 MW wind energy plan. Morocco’s power utility, ONE, on Friday invited companies to submit expressions of interest in five wind turbines projects with a total wind power generation capacity of 850 MW, reports Reuters.

ONE said will take bids until March 2 from wind turbines firms or consortia for "the development, design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance" of the five wind farm projects.

Bidders who pass the preliminary, expression-of-interest phase will be invited to bid in an international tender, which will be launched in the second quarter of this year.

"The 850 megawatt wind energy project will be structured under a ‘build, own, operate and transfer’ scheme," ONE said in a statement.

The project will be realised under a public-private partnership with ONE, the Energy Investments Company and King Hassan Fund, all owned by the state. The tender also includes the separate procurement and maintenance of a 200 megawatt wind farm.

Morocco aims to tap its wind potential to raise power generation from wind energy to 2,000 megawatts by 2020 from 280 megawatts currently at a total cost of 31.5 billion dirhams ($3.6 billion).

"Our studies show that we can generate up to 25,000 megawatts from wind power alone," a government official said. Morocco has embarked on one of the world’s biggest renewable energy development plans involving concentrating solar power and wind energy.

The concentrated solar power plan is worth $9 billion in investment and will include five concentrating solar thermal power stations to account for 38 percent of the country’s installed power generation capacity by 2020.

Together, the wind power and solar energy development schemes should reduce Morocco’s annual imports of fossil fuels by 2.5 million tonnes of oil equivalent and prevent emissions of 9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Morocco aims to export surplus electricity to Europe via Spain, where it has a power market trading licence that allows it to sell electricity. ONE doubled the capacity of its interconnector to Spain to 400 MW in 2007.