Morocco’s ‘largest rooftop solar plant’ nears completion with cold storage

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Adding cold storage also turned out to be a critical factor in allowing the solar plant to function well with the factory. Credit: EBRD

Casablanca-based confectionery and chewing gum producer Maghreb Industries is close to fully implementing a 1,361kWp rooftop solar system combined with an ice-based storage system on the roof of its new factory.

Maghreb CEO Hakim Marrakchi, who said he was inspored by rooftop solar on the roof of a Belgian chocolate factory, sought funding from the EBRD, which then provided a €4.6 million loan through its Finance and Technology Transfer Centre for Climate Change (FINTECC).

Adding cold storage also turned out to be a critical factor in allowing the solar plant to function well with the factory.

Marrakchi said: “For an efficient energy system to work, you need to have a balance between energy produced and energy consumed. Our energy needs vary widely and we wouldn’t always need all the energy the solar plant would produce. However, you can’t inject excess electricity into the national grid in Morocco, so we needed to find a way to store it.”

FINTECC also provided a €360,790 incentive grant and technical support financed by the European Union to implement a range of renewable-energy and energy-efficient technologies at the factory. Efficiency was critical given that Morocco imports a significant amount of its energy and is exposed to global price fluctuations as well as decreasing government subsidies.

Maghreb claims this is the largest rooftop PV project in Morocco. Meanwhile, the ice-based cold storage system allows the factory to store power during off-peak hours and use it during peak hours to cut costs. The factory also has energy management software, a heat-recovery chimney and external insulation.

Marrakchi said the project has not yet been fully implemented, but the solar plant is already producing up to 60% of the factory’s electricity needs, offsetting use of gasoline and grid electricity.

He also hopes that the project will inspire other businesses in Morocco to explore solar power and improve energy efficiency, since several other companies have already approached Maghreb asking for help on implementing similar plants.

Back in June, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) shortlisted five consortia to take part in the bidding for the first phase of the Noor Midelt solar power complex, which includes large-scale hybrid solar PV and concentrated solar power (CSP) plants.

Read Next

February 2, 2021
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has welcomed an amendment to California utilities' grid mapping requirements that will support the "efficient electrification" of the state's infrastructure.
Premium
February 1, 2021
Cero Generation, intended to be among the biggest solar development companies in Europe, has been launched by Australian giant Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG).
January 29, 2021
The results of Spain’s auction this week for 3GW of renewables capacity have been widely welcomed by the country’s solar sector, but calls have been made to tweak future auctions to support smaller-scale projects as well as encourage the participation of bids with energy storage.
January 28, 2021
Tesla reported a significant increase in energy storage deployments for the fourth quarter of 2020, more than doubling record figures from the previous quarter as battery manufacturing expansions led to greater product availability but demand still outstrips supply.
January 28, 2021
Rising domestic demand for solar helped Spain reach 596MW of new self-consumption PV installations last year, according to data from trade association UNEF.
January 28, 2021
EDF Renewables North America has acquired 100% of US distributed generation company EnterSolar, as it aims to capitalise on accelerating growth in the commercial and industrial (C&I) solar market.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
March 9, 2021
Solar Media Events
March 17, 2021
Solar Media Events
April 13, 2021
Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021