ACWA Power wins $1bn Morocco solar deal
Saudi firm will build 160MW CSP plant near Ouarzazate
ACWA Power has won a US $1bn contract to build a 160MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant near Morocco’s Ouarzazate. The firm, together with 5% Spanish partners ARIES and TSC, scored the deal against three other bidders – including Abu Dhabi’s TAQA – with an operational energy price 27% lower than the next lowest bidder.
Mustapha Bakkoury, head of Morocco’s solar energy agency MASEN, has said that the project will begin towards the end of the year, with completion scheduled for late 2014. The scheme covers an area of 2,500 hectares, and will have an eventual generating capacity of 500MW over two phases.
Morocco is planning to build five solar plants by 2020, as it works to add 2GW of solar generation capacity – equivalent to around 38% of the country’s total power capacity.
MASEN is set to launch two more 50MW tenders for the Ouarzazate site, one being for another CSP project, together with a solar PV scheme. Both are expected to be completed by 2015.