Solar Energy Production Progresses in Morocco
In support of Morocco's ongoing efforts to develop its renewable energy resources and reduce its dependency on fossil fuels, the World Bank has approved the US$519 million phase two and phase three expansion of the Ouarzazate Solar Power Station (OSPS) which will provide up to 1.1 million Moroccans with a source of clean renewable energy by 2018. Located in the Ghessat rural council area of Souss-Massa-Drâa, around 10 km from the town of Ouarzazate, the OSPS covers an area of 2,500 hectares with phase one of the project, referred to as Noor 1 CSP (concentrated solar power), already under construction. The first phase of the project will supply 160 megawatts of energy, while phase two and three are set to provide 350 megawatts as well as the installation of solar thermal collectors and solar energy tower. It is anticipated that the plant will be operational in the second half of 2015.