EDF to co-deploy ‘world first’ 800MW triple solar hybrid in Morocco

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
MASEN's move for a PV-CSP hybrid follows work on CSP- and PV-only projects (Credit: MASEN)

France’s EDF, Abu Dhabi’s Masdar and Morocco’s Green Africa have been selected to deploy a triple solar hybrid in the African state that will incorporate PV to profit from cost declines.

Billed by its promoters as a world first, the PV-plus-CSP-plus-storage Noor Midelt project will be developed in high desert plains between the Middle Atlas and High Atlas ranges, a five-hour drive east from capital Rabat.

Construction at a 4,140-plus hectare site is scheduled to begin in Q4 2019 and should, according to World Bank documents from last year, deliver two multi-technology plants.

Each of the duo is thought to be designed with a 150-210MW PV installation and a 150-190MW CSP element, bringing capacity across the two to a 600-800MW total. A five-hour thermal storage component will complete the technology mix, the World Bank said. 

Public-private approach with finance

The selection of EDF and others saw them prevail over four other consortia – led by Acwa Power, Engie, Innogy and JGC – shortlisted through a competitive bidding process arranged by MASEN.

The renewable agency's decision to commission a PV-plus-CSP hybrid rests, the World Bank said last year, on a belief in PV’s cost-cutting potential. The renewable agency is keen to “benefit from spectacular cost declines for PV and further reduce LCOEs”, the World Bank explained.

While final project costs remain unclear, Noor Midelt is predicted to require around US$2.3 billion in funding. Up to 20% (US$440 million) is expected to be equity from private sources, while the remaining 80% should come via loans from IBRD, CTF, AfDB, EIB and other development financiers.

The World Bank documents laid out the rationale behind the public-private funding approach. Adding PV will reduce cost compared to MASEN’s CSP-only parent project but “not enough to make it fully competitive” with thermal power sources, the institution said.

Working towards 52% renewable share by 2030

According to the developer consortium, Noor Midelt should start supplying power to the grid around 2022. Based on last year's World Bank review, connection will come via a 400kV, 180-kilometre new transmission line linked to the Noor Midelt substation. 

Morocco’s solar push comes amid efforts to keep up with electricity demand, on the rise as the economy grew and electricity access doubled within a decade. The North African state hit a 35% renewable share in 2018 and wants to reach 52% by 2030, in a bid to curb reliance on fossil fuel imports.

Before it moved towards a PV-CSP hybrid, MASEN spent years working on a CSP-only 580MW complex near the desert city of Ouarzazate. In parallel, plans have been laid out for a separate, PV-only programme, with Acwa Power selected in 2016 to develop a 170MW portfolio of three plants.

See here for more background on the Noor Midelt project

Read Next

December 6, 2021
Italian energy company Edison has sold a 49% stake in its renewables division to Crédit Agricole Assurances (CAA) to accelerate its growth plan that aims to deploy 4GW of solar PV and wind by 2030
November 29, 2021
A round-up of the latest project news from across the world, including Masdar’s plans to develop solar in Armenia, TotalEnergies completing its largest project in France and Shikun & Binui expanding its US energy portfolio.
PV Tech Premium
November 9, 2021
Liam Stoker reports from the halls of COP26, where the likes of US energy secretary Jennifer Granholm and highlighted the need for an all-encompassing but just and equitable energy transition, and explores the role for solar PV.
October 19, 2021
Shortlisted bids in Saudi Arabia’s latest solar tender have jumped significantly on the lowest price recorded in the country’s previous renewables programme, reflecting the hikes in PV equipment costs in recent months.
September 26, 2021
A 10.5GW solar-plus-wind project is under development in Morocco’s Guelmim Oued Noun region, with 3.6GW of this to be exported to Great Britain.
September 17, 2021
BP, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Masdar have partnered up to develop low carbon hydrogen hubs and create decarbonised air travel corridors between the UK and UAE in a deal that will see “billions” of dollars of investment.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal