The story of the Ouarzazate Solar Complex, which will open tomorrow as the largest solar energy plant in Africa:
The southern Moroccan city of Ouarzazate will soon be home to Africa’s largest solar plant and the world’s biggest concentrating solar power (CSP) facility, with $6.49bn worth of solar projects currently in the works.
The 500-MW Ouarzazate Solar Complex (OSC) – which will occupy an area roughly the size of the capital Rabat – will harness solar power using CSP technology. As opposed to traditional photovoltaic panels, CSP uses mirrors to focus sunlight and convert it into 400°C heat to create steam that will power an energy-generating turbine.
The turnkey project’s first installation will be the 160-MW Noor I plant, with the Noor II and III facilities set to come on-line by 2018 or 2019.
Through investment in projects like the OSC, Morocco aims to exploit its 3000 annual hours of sunlight for domestic electricity production, with a view to eventually exporting power across the Mediterranean…[FULL STORY]