Voltalia to develop 117MW solar capacity in Morocco

27 Apr 2022
Voltalia to develop 117MW solar capacity in Morocco

France’s Voltalia has been awarded a contract to develop two photovoltaic (PV) solar plants with a combined total capacity of 117MW in Morocco

France’s Voltalia has been awarded a contract to develop two photovoltaic (PV) solar plants with a combined total capacity of 117MW in Morocco.

The contracts were awarded under the competitive tendering process for the Noor 2 PV Programme.

Voltalia will develop a 69MW project in Ain Beni Mathat and a 48MW project in Guercif.

The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen) said that Voltalia was awarded the largest capacity under the Noor 2 PV programme. The solar plants will provide electricity for about 290,000 people.

Voltalia will sign power purchase agreements with private customers connected to the public electricity grid.

“We are very pleased to have won these sites in Morocco. These future photovoltaic power plants will contribute to the decarbonization of energy by avoiding the emission of approximately 200,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere,” Sebastien Clerc, CEO, Voltalia, said following the contract award.

Morocco has set an ambitious target for 52 per cent of its energy to come from renewable resources by 2030. The North African country is well on track to meet the target with installed renewables capacity, 3,950MW, in 2021 accounting for 37 per cent of installed capacity.

Energy & Utilities recently reported 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 under the multi-site Noor 2 PV programme.

AMEA Power will develop a 36MW PV IPP in Taroudant, Souss-Massa region, and a 36MW plant at El-Hajeb in the Fes-Mekes region.

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.

Energy & Utilities reported in March 2021 that the client had finalised the prequalification process and issued request for proposals (RFP) for the Noor 2 PV project.

The Noor 2 PV projects will be developed for private commercial entities, with the commercial and industrial companies buying power from the PV plants directly from the developer.

According to sources close to the programme, Morocco’s ONEE has the right to buy some residual power at a low price.

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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