Morocco invites bids for Noor Atlas solar projects

Written by
7 Jul 2022
Morocco invites bids for Noor Atlas solar projects

The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen) has invited contractors to submit proposals for two packages of photovoltaic (PV) solar schemes under the Noor Atlas scheme. The Noor Atlas programme involves the development of seven sites in the southern and eastern regions of Morocco, with a combined total capacity of 260MW

The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen) has invited contractors to submit proposals for two packages of photovoltaic (PV) solar schemes under the Noor Atlas scheme.

The Noor Atlas programme involves the development of seven sites in the southern and eastern regions of Morocco, with a combined total capacity of 260MW. The projects will be developed as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages.

The client has set a bid submission date of 30 October.

The first package will involve the construction of five projects:

  • Ain Beni Mathar: 42MW
  • Boudnib: 36MW
  • Buonane: 30MW
  • Enjil: 42MW
  • Outat el-Haj: 36MW

 Under the second package, two PV solar projects are planned:

  • Tata: 36MW
  • Tan-Tan: 36MW

The projects will require funding of $277m, with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the German public bank KfW to co-finance the PV projects. Morocco has set a target for renewables to account for up to 52 per cent of its energy generation capacity by 2030.  

Energy & Utilities reported in April 2022 that Dubai-based AMEA Power had been awarded a contract to develop two PV solar plants in Morocco with a combined total capacity of 72MW.

The contract to develop a 36MW PV independent power producer (IPP) project in Taroudant, in the Souss-Massa region, and at El-Hajeb, in the Fes-Meknes region, are part of the multi-site Noor PV 2 programme.

The Noor PV 2 programme involves the development of PV projects at six different locations, with the total capacity of the programme expected to reach 400MW.

Morocco has emerged as one of the leading proponents of renewable energy in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) over the past five years, having successfully launched and developed some of the largest solar schemes in the region.

The North African state’s progress with developing clean energy is part of its strategy to reduce its historical reliance on energy imports. In 2009, the government set a target for renewables to contribute to 42 per cent of total power production by 2020.

Following the successful launch of its Noor PV programme, in 2017 Rabat set a target for 52 per cent of its energy requirements to come from clean energy sources by 2030.

Masen awarded the contract for the country’s first major solar project, the 160MW Noor 1 CSP solar plant, to a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power in 2012. Acwa Power was also successful in the tender for the Noor 2 and Noor 3 CSP projects in 2015.

 The Saudi developer cemented its dominance in Morocco’s burgeoning solar market in 2017 when it was appointed for the country’s first major PV solar project, the 170MW Noor 1 PV scheme. The Noor 1 programme consists of three PV solar plants at Ouarzazate, Noor Laayoune and Noor Boujdour.

 In 2019, Masen awarded a contract to consortium of France’s EDF and UAE-based Masdar to develop the Noor Midelt IPP, Morocco’s first hybrid CSP-PV solar scheme. The Noor Midelt 1 scheme will consist of two-hybrid solar plants, each with a capacity of 400MW.

 

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