Morocco plans to generate 2,000 MW of solar energy by 2020

The tender processes for Morocco s 2,000 MW solar energy plan would be accelerated by it with the first contract to be for 160 MW to be generated using concentrated solar thermal power (CSP).

Morocco s US$9 billion solar energy plan is to produce 2,000 MW of solar power by 2020, which represents 38% of present installed power generation capacity in the country.

Mustafa Bakkoury, chairman, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen), said that the contractor for the first phase of a 500 MW Concentrating Solar Power plant would be declared soon.

According to him, the first stage of the Moroccan solar plan, which is the Ouarzazate 500 MW CSP complex, should be completed by 2015.

The 160 MW parabolic trough project work of the first phase is projected to begin in the third or fourth quarter of this year and the winning consortium will be one of: Abeinsa ICI constituting Abengoa Solar, Mitsui and Abu Dhabi National Energy; a consortium comprising Enel and ACS SCE; a consortium comprising International Company for Water and Power (ACWA), Aries IS and TSK EE.

Afterwards, the tenders to build a 50 MW photovoltaic module and CSP towers of at least 50 MW in Ouarzazate, Bakkoury would be introduced by Masen.

Morocco s solar power plan will include five power stations, two of which are situated in the Western Sahara territory. Morocco is also considering to export electricity to the European Union.

By José Santamarta,