Today 4th of February 2016, the biggest Concentrated Solar Power Plant of the world, located in Ouarzazate, Morocco, is being inaugurated. The Solar Power Plant NOOR I in the south of Morocco, located 10 km from the city of Ouarzazate, has been inaugurated today with the presence of the King of Morocco, the Spanish Ministers Jose Manuel García Margallo y Jose Manuel Soria, and distinguished Spanish and Moroccan authorities.
The event was presided over by King Mohammed VI of Morocco, and brought together political representatives and executives from the constructor companies, among them the President of SENER’s engineering and construction group, Jorge Sendagorta, accompanied by the Project Manager of NOORo I at SENER, Verónica Rosello, and the representative of the Steering Committee of NOORo I, Santiago García, also from SENER; the Vice President of ACCIONA, Juan Ignacio Entrecanales, and the General Manager of the Industrial Department of ACCIONA Infrastructures, Ramón Jiménez; and the President of TSK, Sabino García, the General Manager of TSK, Francisco Martín, and the TSK Thermosolar Director, Andrés Cuesta.
NOOR I, with a nominal capacity of 160 MW of electric power, and a capacity for energy storage in molten salts of 3 hours at maximum power, is the first solar energy project that maximizes the operating hours of the day, adapting to the peak hours of the Moroccan electricity market.
The construction of this plant is of vital importance for the sector within and outside the region. For the 160 MW it occupies 450 hectares and consists of 400 parabolic loops. In its construction some 1,400 workers have been mobilized, of which 70 per cent are local labor and the rest foreign technicians.
Saudí ACWA Power is the sponsor of this project. Aries Ingeniería y Sistemas has been the Owner´s Engineering of ACWA Power, and the construction in the form of the turnkey was conducted by a consortium of three Spanish companies Acciona, TSK and Sener. With this plant Aries is positioned as an engineering leader in the North African region and in solar power plants with energy storage.
SENER, ACCIONA and TSK make up the construction consortium with the turnkey contract, or EPC, for NOORo I, a high-efficiency modern power station. With 160 MWe of power and 3.5 hours of thermal storage it will supply 500 GWh of solar power per year, enough to meet the demands of 135,000 homes. NOORo I will avert annual emissions of 140,000 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
In addition to NOORo I, SENER is a participant in the other two thermosolar phases of the project, NOORo II and NOORo III, in the same turnkey construction consortium. The three thermosolar plants are to provide a total of 510 MWe of power. All of them will be equipped with thermal storage systems, enabling them to continue to produce electricity in the absence of solar radiation. As a matter of fact, the time with the greatest demand for power in Morocco is nightfall, so the integration of these facilities in the Moroccan electricity system will be one of optimal efficiency. Altogether, they will avert annual emissions of 470,000 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
It is important to highlight that local input to the project is totaling as much as 30% of the construction work, as the constructor companies, including SENER, are strongly committed to the Ouarzazate community and to the Kingdom of Morocco; both workers and suppliers from the area are being employed, and have been ever since the start of the NOORo I first phase.