GDF SUEZ and Nareva Start Africa’s Largest Wind Energy Project in Tarfaya, Morocco

GDF SUEZ, together with its Moroccan partner Nareva Holding is pleased to announce that the 301 MW Tarfaya wind farm on Morocco’s southern Atlantic coast began full commercial operation on 8 December 2014.

 Tarfaya is Africa’s largest wind farm to date, comprising 131 wind turbines of 2.3 MW each, spread over an area of 8,900 hectares. The project will generate enough carbon-free electricity for 1.5 million homes.

The wind farm is expected to yield a high load factor of 45%, which makes it a competitive renewable energy source that will save 900,000 tons of CO2 per year. The 301 MW capacity represents 15% of the 2 GW target Morocco has set for wind energy development. Tarfaya will therefore contribute significantly to the Kingdom’s objective of achieving 42% installed capacity from renewable energy by 2020.

Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ commented:“Tarfaya wind farm provides Morocco with a domestic source of clean energy enhancing the country’s energy independence. Our Group is committed to sustainability and this project will significantly contribute to our objectives for renewables growth worldwide.”

>The Tarfaya plant has been contracted to supply electricity to the Moroccan state utility Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) on a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis.

Construction of the wind farm started in January 2013 and phased commercial operation commenced in tranches of 50 MW in June 2014. The wind farm will be operated by TAREC.

Tarfaya achieved financial close in December 2012. The total investment cost of the project is approximately EUR 450 million. The debt financing is provided by a consortium of three Moroccan banks.

In Africa, GDF SUEZ has interests in four other assets with a gross capacity of around 2,485 MW under construction: the 94 MW West Coast 1 wind farm, and the 970 MW Avon and 335 MW Dedisa peaking plants in South Africa; and the 2×693 MW Safi thermal project in Morocco. GDF SUEZ has 3,907 MW wind generation capacity worldwide.