ACWA Power is at the forefront of solar power development in Morocco once again as it is reportedly among the 3 developers that placed lowest bids for a large-scale solar PV power complex.
Three companies based in Saudi Arabia – ACWA Power, Fotowatio, and Alfanar – have reportedly placed the lowest bids for development of 3 solar PV power projects with cumulative capacity of 170 MW. The bids are said to be in the range of US¢6.0/kWh which is comparable to the winning bid for 200 MW solar PV park in Dubai last year. The project was secured by a consortium that included ACWA Power and Spain’s TSK.
The projects are the first ones to be based on photovoltaic technology in the iconic Noor-Ouarzazate solar power complex; so far auctions and construction has taken place only for concentrated solar thermal power projects.
Phase 1 of the solar power complex includes Noor I, which comprises a 160 MW parabolic trough-power project and is in the advanced stages of construction. Phase 2 includes two projects, called Noor II and Noor III, with capacities of 200 MW and 150 MW respectively. Noor II will be based on parabolic technology whereas Noor III will be developed using power tower technology.
Noor I is now operational and was developed by ACWA Power, in partnership with Aries and TSK. The project operates at a tariff of US¢18.9/kWh. Noor II and Noor III, still under development, have tariffs of US¢14/kWh and US¢15/kWh, respectively. Both the projects are expected to be commissioned next year.
The total capacity of Noor-Ouarzazate solar power complex is expected to be 2 GW or 14% of Morocco’s total power generation capacity. The project is expected to achieve full capacity by 2020.