Morocco is about to set a record as the world’s solar energy superpower with a huge new concentrated solar power (CSP) station that’s currently in progress.
Morocco which is currently powered by fossil fuel is expected to generate half of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020. Based on the report from the Guardian, a key to that is the largest CSP plant in the world – with its construction currently in progress, near the city of Ouarzazate. The initial phase of the project, known as Noor 1, is set to go online next month and will generate approximately 160MW of electricity via its 800 rows and 500,000 mirrors that follow the sun via the desert sky each day.
Noor 1 is the first of four such projects near Ouarzazate that will in the end generate around 580MW, or sufficient power to cater for about 1 million households. Solar power is expected to provide about a third of the country’s energy by 2020, with the remaining 50% coming from hydro and wind energy. The project will cost not more than $9 billion.
The next 2stages, Noor 2 and 3, are expected to go online by 2017 with the ability to store energy for as long as 8 hours, unlike to the 3-hour capacity of Noor 1. That ability will indicate all-day and all-night power for the Sahara and its surrounding regions.