Morocco: the next largest solar power station in the world has been inaugurated

The construction of what is expected to be the largest concentrated solar power station in the world in Morocco is underway. According to World Bank, when the facility is completed, concentrated solar power will provide electricity to 1.1 million Moroccans in 2018.

The solar thermal power plant “Noor I”, located near the city of Ouarzazate, in southern Morocco, at the gateway to the Sahara, was inaugurated.

@Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images

It is the first unit in operation (on a series of four) of a colossal complex that will become the largest in the world with its 117 km² area. It is expected to be completed by 2020 and provide nearly half of Morocco’s electricity.

“Noor 1” is 500,000 parabolic glass panels arranged on 800 lines.

The plant is equipped with mirrors that are 12 meters high

The mirrors follow the path of the sun to capture and store as much energy as possible throughout the day. Once engaged and capturing the sun’s rays, their temperature reaches a high temperature; which heats a specific fluid up to 393 ° C. This liquid is sent into a pipeline that heats the water. The latter produces steam and runs turbines at full speed.

A technology much more expensive and less widespread than that of conventional photovoltaic panels, because much more efficient and always producing energy after sunset.

@Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images

Morocco’s Minister of the Environment, Hakima el-Haite, was speaking to the Guardian about this: “We are no longer producing oil. 94% of the energy we import is fossil fuels from abroad and this has a big impact on our budget. “

This project will eventually require $ 9 billion in investment, Morocco also wants to assert itself as a leader in international renewable energy.

After France and Paris, Morocco will host the Conference of Parties (on climate), COP 22, scheduled between 7 and 18 November 2016 in Marrakech.

@Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images

Via Google Maps

Up in the middle of the solar power plant (finally 1/4 in fact), lower left the city of Ouarzazate, and bottom right the water tank (view of the space)

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