HSE International ISSUE 100 - Page 7

HUGE MOROCCAN CONCENTRATED SOLAR PLANT POISED TO BE WORLD’S LARGEST Morocco recently turned on its colossal solar power plant in the Sahara Desert, beginning the first phase of a project that is intended to provide renewable energy to more than a million Moroccans. T solar power plants harness the sun’s energy using mirrors to heat water and produce steam that spins energygenerating turbines. By design, the plant is intended to meet peak power needs, providing solar energy from sunrise until a few hours after sun down. Morocco’s King Mohammed VI commissioned the project and recently launched the construction of the second and third phases. The estimated cost for the complete solar plant is 24 billion dirhams (roughly $6.5 billion), according to a news release from Angence Marocaine de Press. “With this bold step toward a clean energy future, Morocco is pioneering a greener development and developing a cutting edge solar technology,” said Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb in a statement. “The returns on this investment will be significant for the country and its people, by enhancing energy security, creating a cleaner environment, and encouraging new industries and job creation.” HSE INTERNATIONAL Source: http://www.hseinternational.co.uk/huge-moroccan-concentrated-solar-plant-poised-to-be-worlds-largest/ he plant, dubbed the Noor 1, is located on the edge of the Sahara in a town called Ouarzazate. The plant covers thousands of acres of desert and generates up to 160 megawatts of power, making it already one of the world’s largest solar thermal power plants. All told, it is comprised of 500,000 solar mirrors divided into 800 glittering rows visible from space, according to a news release. The massive infrastructure is part of Morocco’s pledge to obtain 42% of its electricity from renewables by the year 2020, along with reducing energy consumption in buildings and transport by 12%. That pledge stems from the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, which was struck in December 2015 with the consent of 195 nations. By the time future phases of the project, Noor II and Noor III, are completed, the plant will be able to produce 580 megawatts and it will be the largest concentrated solar plant in the world, according to NASA. Concentrated 7