The World Bank is providing an additional $125 million for Morocco’s adoption of innovative solar technology. The additional financing, which includes $25 million from the Clean Technology Fund, will support the development and construction of the Noor-Midelt I and II plants, which will have a total capacity of 600-800 MW.
The Noor-Midelt complex will be Morocco’s second concentrated solar power complex built under the Noor Solar Plan. The Solar Plan is a critical component of the country’s goal of producing 52 percent of its electricity through renewable energy by 2030. The 580 MW Noor-Ouarzazate complex is due for completion this year and will be the world’s largest CSP complex. Along with providing power to over one million people, the Noor-Ouarzazate complex will decrease Morocco’s dependence on oil by about 2.5 million tons per year and reduce carbon emissions by 760,000 tons per year. Once complete, the Noor-Midelt complex will be even larger.
“This is yet another step toward a promising clean energy future for Morocco,”said Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb.
The Noor-Midelt complex will be based on a new design that combines CSP and PV technologies. While less expensive, PV does not have the same storage capacity as CSP, which can generate power even when the sun is not shining.
The design and construction of the new solar complex will be led by the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN), which was founded to implement the solar plan and now leads the country’s transition to renewable energy. MASEN successfully implemented the first solar complex through a public- private partnership, and will use the same model for Noor-Midelt. The model has mobilized private finance to support the development of renewable energy infrastructure and contributed to bringing down the price of CSP through competitive bidding. MASEN also issued Morocco’s first green bond in 2016 to support the shift to green energy.