Morocco Ready for Another Solar Project to Curb Energy Imports

(Bloomberg) -- Morocco plans to build plants to produce another 800 megawatts of solar power, just months after attracting bids for its Midelt project as the North African country moves to curb energy imports.

Initial tenders for the Noor PV II project will be announced in a “few months,” Obaid Amrane, a member of the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy’s management board, said Wednesday in an interview. It will include plants in several locations, he said at the state-owned company’s offices in Rabat. Morocco may issue domestic or international bonds to fund the project, expected to be completed by the end of 2020, he said.

Morocco is part of a regional expansion in renewables, with plans to generate 52 percent of electricity from solar, wind and hydropower by 2030 from 34 percent currently, according to Amrane. In December, France’s Engie SA, EDF Energies Nouvelles and Riyadh-based ACWA Power International led groups bidding for the 800-megawatt Midelt solar project. The nation is also starting construction this year on 850 megawatts of wind power.

Morocco plans to add 6 gigawatts of installed renewables capacity -- including solar, wind and hydropower -- between 2018 and 2030, Amrane said. “Everything linked to waste-to-power” is also being considered, he said.

The renewables push started in 2009 with Morocco planning to spend an estimated $9 billion to generate 42 percent of the nation’s electricity from solar, wind and hydropower by 2020, Amrane said. “That estimate is lower today because costs have declined as the renewables technology advances,” he said.

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