Outside the city of Ouarzazate, in the Ghessat rural council area is Morocco’s solar power station. Ouarzazate is located in the Draa-Tafilalet region in the country. The solar power station is called Ouarzazate Solar Power Station, otherwise known as the Noor Power Station.
As of now, this solar power station in Morocco is known to be the largest concentrated solar power in the world. Construction began in May of 2013 and the first phase was commissioned in February of 2016. The solar power station is built in three phases and four parts. Phase two was started in February of 2016 and ended in January 2018. Last but not least is Phase three; which was constructed immediately after the commissioning of phase two.
The Ouarzazate Solar Power Station’s cost is estimated around 2.5 billion. The project received preferential funding from various sources including the African Development Bank and The World Bank. The project was developed by ACWA Power with aid from the Spanish consortium TSK-Acciona-Sener. Additionally, this project is the first in a series of planned projects by the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN).
When put together, the entire project, which has been completed produces 510MW of power. The station sits on an area of 2500 hectares and serves one million people with electricity whilst preventing the release of 300,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually. The plants allow for production of electricity into the night as it is able to store solar energy in the form of heated molten salt.
For Phase One, it comes with a full-load molten salt storage capacity of 3 hours. Then, there are the other two phases. Noor 2 and Noor 3 store energy for up to eight hours. In the early quarter of this year, the country was planning on construction of the fourth and final phase, Noor 4. MASEN plans on adding another 6,000 MW of power to what is being produced. This would bring the total production 582MW.