Ouarzazate solar complex in Morocco signs new loan agreements

KfW Development Bank has signed new loan agreements totalling 654 M€ for the Ouarzazate solar complex in south-eastern Morocco on behalf of the BMZ, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the BMU, the Federal Ministry for the Environment. The other financing parties are the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union and the World Bank. These latest agreements entered into for the second and third power plants at the solar complex, Noor II and Noor III, amount to a total of 1.4 Bn€.

The first power plant, Noor I, has a 160 MW capacity and will be connected to the power grid in October 2015. The construction of the Noor II and III power plants is scheduled to begin in April 2015. The Ouarzazate complex will have a total capacity of around 560 MW and as a result, will become the largest solar complex under construction in the world. The total cost amounts to approximately 2.2 Bn€, of which KfW is contributing 829 M€ (around 40%), making it the lead financier for the project.

The power plant complex will generate electricity for some 1.3 million people and will avoid the emission of around 800,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year compared with traditional power generation methods. Three innovative technologies are to be used: parabolic troughs, a solar tower and photovoltaic panels. Furthermore, the three power plants will incorporate a salt storage tank which allows electricity to continue to be supplied at night.

“The construction of this power plant complex will allow Morocco to make a breakthrough in the development of a low-carbon emission and climate-friendly technology, at the same time as reducing the country’s heavy dependence on imported energy. By implementing these ambitious energy plans, the country is setting itself up as a pioneer in the region. Its goal for 2020 is to generate 42% of the country’s power generation capacity from renewable energies. The aim of the Moroccan solar plan is to achieve a total generation capacity of 2,000 MW by 2020. The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) is implementing this ambitious plan in exemplary fashion,” said Dr Norbert Kloppenburg, Member of the Executive Board of KfW Group.