AfDB helps fund $1.44bn Moroccan concentrated solar power project

The Ouarzazate concentrating solar thermal power station will be eight times as large as the Gemasolar concentrated solar plant in Spain.

The African Development bank has approved a loan if $336m to the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) to help finance the Ouarzazate concentrating solar power station projects which will have a solar generation capacity of 500 MW with all phases complete.

The power station will utilize concentrated solar power (CSP) technology, arraying parabolic trough mirrors around a central tower filled with fluid material, to generate 160MW in the first phase. The project will become one of the largest solar power projects in the world at full expansion.

“The Ouarzazate first phase is a key milestone for the success of the Moroccan solar program. While answering both energy and environmental concerns, It will pave the way for the implementation of the regional initiatives sharing the same vision,” said MASEN president Mustapha Bakkoury.

Ouarzazate is the first stage in Morocco’s $9bn national Solar Power Plan, launched under the aegis of Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) in 2009, with the ambition to deploy 2000MW of solar power generation capacity by 2020.