ACWA Power has inaugurated its 120 MW Khalladi wind farm in Melloussa, Tangier, and is set to supply clean power to a number of large industrial companies.
This entirely privately funded investment was financed with equity from ACWA Power and ARIF and long tenor debt, from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in collaboration with the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), and the Moroccan BMCE Bank of Africa (BMCE).
The energy plant is set to produce and supply 370GWh of energy to industrial companies which is equivalent to a yearly average consumption of a city of 400,000 people and will contribute to the reduction of more than 144,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
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The Khalladi project will contribute to Morocco achieving its 2020 target of increasing the renewable energy component of the energy mix to 42%, and part of the ambition to develop 2,000 MW of wind capacity all by 2020.
“Morocco’s energy sector offers attractive investment opportunities, due to a well-established regulatory framework put in place by the Moroccan government and due to the country already having already attracted significant investments in solar and wind energy all of which has made it possible for ACWA Power to, within six years, deliver the NOORoI solar plant and the Khalladi wind farm and a series of other investments in construction which by the end of 2018 will cumulate to 800 MW of generation capacity in the Kingdom,” said ACWA Power Chairman Mohammad Abunayyan commented.
“We are proud of having been able to establish in Morocco a solid foundation of 7 power plants which will all be operational by the end of this year. With a portfolio valued at over US $3.2 bn and we look forward to participating in the future tenders that will be offered to the private sector for power generation and desalinated water production capacity,” Abunayyan added.
According Harry Boyd- Carpenter, the EBRD director for power and energy utilities, the Khalladi wind firm project is a landmark project in particular because it it does not rely on government support but instead is selling power in a competitive environment, demonstrating that clean, renewable power has really come of age.
ACWA Power has made significant investments in Morocco, with projects and operations expected to be rolled out over the coming decades. ACWA Power Morocco will serve also as a platform for the development of other energy projects in the continent as the company grows its operations into West Africa.
The energy from wind power of 2,000 MW in 2020 will be almost equal to that expected to be generated at Stigler’s Gorge in Tanzania. Both are considered as clean energy, but with different sustainability potential. The hydro-power seems to be more vulnerable to climate change factors and environmental degradation due to human activities on the watershed areas in the upstream. Therefore, the development of Stigler’s Gorge should go in parallel with development of land use planning and environmental conservation programmes in the watershed areas.