Soitec and Schneider Electric have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen) to develop concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) technology in the North African country.
The MOU is part of the Moroccan Solar Plan and will focus on creating a CPV sector capable of catering for Morocco’s rising domestic energy demand. Among its core aims is the construction of two 5MW pilot plants; the first will be located in Ouarzazate and is set to be completed in early 2012, while the second is still awaiting approval from the partners.
“This multidimensional pilot partnership on CPV, a promising solar power technology, fits in perfectly with Masen's vision on integrated development of the Moroccan Solar Plan,” Masen chairman Mustapha Bakkoury said. “This kind of project will undoubtedly be having a positive impact on the sector, and on regional integration, which we're eager to participate in, alongside organisations like Soitec and Schneider Electric, which share our aims.”
The MOU’s three other key goals are: an in-depth research and development initiative; the creation of a local supply chain for CPV system components; the establishment of a CPV-trained workforce.
“Schneider Electric has a 60-year history of working in Morocco, and is delighted to be contributing to the Moroccan Solar Plan. We'll be working jointly with Soitec to address the needs expressed by Masen,” added Laurent Bataille, Schneider Electric's renewable energies director. “Schneider Electric will be harnessing its international expertise in intelligent energy management systems for solar power plants, and its unique know-how in access to renewable energies, to ensure that this Moroccan cooperative project is a resounding industrial, technological, innovative and human success.”