The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen) has plans to launch tenders for the construction of two solar plants with a combined capacity of up to 800 MW by the start of 2017.
In September, the agency invited pre-qualification bids from investors for the construction and operation of the plants, each of which will produce up to 400 MW and will be built near the central town of Midelt. The results are expected to be published in a few weeks and the next phase of the tender processes are expected to be launched by early 2017.
Masen planned to implement a hybrid system which uses concentrated solar plant (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The CSP part will use a parabolic trough heating synthetic oil with a gross capacity of 150 MW to 190 MW and a minimum of five hours full-load storage to cover peak hours after sunset.
The total cost for both projects is estimated at €2 billion (US$2.12 billion).
The country has already secured a €710 million (US$765 million) loan from KFW, the German state-owned bank. All the usual lenders, including the World Bank and the African Development bank (AfDB), are expected to be part of the financing deal.
Morocco recently expanded a 2009 solar and wind power initiative and now aims to produce 10 GW by 2030 rather than 4 GW by 2020. Under the new plan, 52% of Morocco’s energy needs would come renewable sources. The country currently produces about 28% of its energy needs from renewable sources.