Morocco Set to Take World’s Largest Solar Power Plant Title

The partnership of a Saudi Arabian company helped Morocco construct the Noor One Concentrated Solar Power plant; it has more than 400,000 mirrors scattered around the desert, covering an area equivalent to 500 football fields and will generate electricity for one million homes.


The Kingdom of Morocco is building an enormous solar power plant that will be fully operational by 2018, and all of this is being done in the Sahara Desert.

The King of Morocco, Mohammed the VI, attended the inauguration of the first phase of the solar power plant on Jan. 5. According to the layouts, the solar plant will be as big as Morocco’s capital city by the time of completion. Once completed, the power plant will produce energy for more than one million homes.

Image Source: The Express Tribune – Moroccan King Mohammed VI (C) waves the Moroccan flag as he inaugurates the Noor One Concentrated Solar Power plant, some 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) outside the central Moroccan town of Ouarzazate.

King Mohammad the VI has also given the go ahead for the commencement of the second phase of the project.

The solar plant, which is called the Noor One, is located near the town of Ouarzazate. Once finished, it will produce more than 150 Megawatts (MW) of electricity, however, experts say the plant can produce more than 500 MW when fully operational. The Concentrated Solar Power plant will also help in reducing greenhouse gas on a mass scale.

Maha Kediri, the representative for the Renewable Energy Agency in Morocco, stated how the project was to be initiated in December 2016, but because of technical problems, the opening was delayed.

Image Source: NPR – The Noor One Concentrated Solar Power plant, shown on Thursday, is the first phase of a large solar thermal power plant that is intended to supply more than a million Moroccans with electricity.

However, the Noor One – which is the first plant – will provide energy to more than six hundred thousand locals from sunrise, to a further three hours after sunset.

The partnership of a Saudi Arabian company helped Morocco construct the Noor One Concentrated Solar Power plant; it has more than 400,000 mirrors scattered around the desert, covering an area equivalent to 500 football fields. The project also received funding from the African Development Bank, World Bank and European Investment Bank.

Image Source: NPR – A worker walks past solar mirrors at the Noor One plant in October, while engineers were preparing for the plant’s official launch.

Climate Investment Funds, a company known for helping developing nations to reduce their greenhouse gases, provided the Moroccan government with more than $400 million dollars out of the $9 billion budget needed for the solar power project.

Climate Investment Funds’ manager Mafalda Duarte called the project a highly important project in Africa. She further added that because of the solar energy, Morocco will now be capable of lowering costs spent on other technology used for generating electricity.

The nation that is also referred to as the ‘Gateway to Africa,’ will host the upcoming United Nations conference on climate change during the end of 2017. Morocco’s government also plans to generate 40 percent of the country’s energy needs from solar power over the next three years, with further hopes of increasing this to over 50 percent over the next 10 years.

Image Source: NPR – The Ouarzazate power plant in Morocco works by using curved mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy and heat a liquid inside its pipes. That heat is then used to convert water into steam and power turbines.

The power from the world’s largest solar power plant is not only going to provide electricity for the local communities but also to European nations, along with the holy city, Mecca.

Climate Investment Funds also indicated if the involved parties fund for additional five gigawatts of solar energy, the costs of electricity generation are going to sink by more than ten percent.

The Moroccan government has announced that Noor Two & Noor Three are set to be opened later this year.

Source: NPR, The Guardian, The Express Tribune

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