Noor aims to develop a renewable energy source and reduce the country’s very high energy dependence.
In November 2009, the Moroccan solar plan (the NOOR Plan) was launched with the objective of developing a minimum 2,000 MW solar-based electricity production capacity by 2020. It is being implemented by an agency created for this purpose: MASEN (Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy).
The Noor project will:
- Reduce the Kingdom’s energy dependence and strengthen its electricity production capacity.
- Reduce the negative impact of fossil fuel imports on the state budget and on the kingdom’s trade balance.
- Mastering a national resource: Morocco benefits from an exceptional rate of sunshine.
- Promote the creation of a new solar sector in Morocco.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions: the NOOR Plan (2 GW) will prevent the emission of approximately 3.7 million tonnes of CO2.
The first phase of the NOOR Plan is the development of the 570 MW NOOR Ouarzazate complex, approximately 10 km northeast of Ouarzazate. The NOOR Ouarzazate solar complex is developed in several phases:
- The 1st phase of the project consists of the construction of a solar thermal power plant (CSP) with cylindrical-parabolic mirrors with a capacity of 160 MW (NOORo I) according to the model of independent energy production. Construction of the NOORo I plant started in 2013 and it was commissioned in February 2016.
- The 2nd phase of the Ouarzazate solar complex project consists of the construction of two separate CSP power plants, equipped with storage capacities: NOORo II, with cylindrical-parabolic mirrors with a power of 200 MW and NOORo III, with a power of 150 MW based on tower technology, thus allowing technological diversification in CSP.
After the success of the Noor Ouarzazate mega-power plant (580 MW of installed solar power, combining solar thermodynamics (CSP) and photovoltaics), Morocco is continuing its pharaonic projects aimed at converting the country to renewable energies.