Morocco becomes a wind energy leader with new wind farm

The $690 million wind power complex would contain 131 wind turbines, scheduled to enter full operations in October 2014.

Morocco has launched the largest wind power plant in Africa. The wind farm in the southwestern town of Tarfaya encompasses nearly 100 square kilometers.

“This makes Morocco a world leader in wind power,” an official said.

Construction of Tarfaya wind farm began in early 2013 and the first wind power was generated in earlier this month. So far, 54 wind turbines, each 80 meters high, were erected and connected to the electricity grid.

Morocco already operates much smaller wind farms. A wind farm at Akhfennir was producing 100 megawatts from 60 wind turbines and Foum El Oued hosted a 50 megawatt wund farm.

The North African kingdom has also been developing a solar power sector. In 2013, Morocco launched construction of a 160-megawatt concentred solar power (CSP) plant near Ouarzazate, a facility expected to be completed in 2015.

Officials said Rabat has assessed that renewable energy would fulfill 42 percent of the kingdom’s energy requirements by 2020. In all, wind energy and solar power were expected to generate 4,000 megawatts.