USTDA approves grant for CSP Tower development in Morocco

At the Oujda energy conference on May 31st, under the auspices of the King and the Prime Minister, the director of the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) and the United States government signed a grant agreement regarding the provision of technical assistance for a CSP Tower project.

This is an interesting development for the Moroccan Solar Plan. Currently the Moroccan’s are working on the first phase of the Ouarzazate solar complex, a 125 MW parabolic trough power plant. At the end of last year, four consortia were shortlisted for building the parabolic trough plant. In addition to the planned 500 MW at Ouarzazate, MASEN has pre-selected another 4 sites to fulfill the 2020 target of 2,000 MW of installed solar.

At the Oujda conference, the King also agreed to several other initiatives including an R&D agreement for PV, the creation of an Institute for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Skills and the expansion of the “Abdelkhaleq Tores” Wind Park in Tangier.

These developments in renewable energy will be implemented alongside two new hydroelectric power plants, a new clean coal power plant in Safi and expansion of the existing Jorf Lasfar clean coal power plant. According to the Energy Minister Amina Benkhadra, the additional power created from all sources during the period 2008-2020 will be 9,246 MW.

Morocco needs energy to fuel its rapidly growing economy. With current fuel imports accounting for some 95% of electricity production, the country is keen to reach more than 40% installed renewables capacity by 2020.

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