Morocco’s Noor Ouarzazate III solar thermal power plant has been powered up in a bid to carry out necessary technical functional tests before its delivery planned for the last quarter of 2018.
The Spanish engineering company, SENER who is responsible for the plant’s conceptual, basic and detail engineering, equipment supply for the thermal storage system, construction of the solar field as well as the commissioning of the entire plant, carried out the startup of the solar receiver, pointing the heliostats towards the receiver located on the top of the tower, at a height of 250 m, to pre-heat it to 320ºC.
SENER forms part of the turnkey building consortium for the Noor Ouarzazate I and Noor Ouarzazate II plants, both of which use SENER parabolic trough technology, and Noor Ouarzazate III, with additional advanced innovations.
The 600MW high-powered receiver has been developed in collaboration with Moroccan companies and, once in operation, it will enable the plant to reach a gross production of 150 MW and 7.5 hours of heat storage and expected to provide electricity for 1.1 million people in the country
The thermal plant has a 7,400 heliostats (HE54) and salt receiver technology, which will produce enough solar power to meet the demands of 120,000 homes per year and enable Morocco to avoid annual emissions of 130,000 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Morocco is planning to generate 42% of its energy from renewables by 2020, with one-third of that total coming from solar, wind and hydropower. As part of a low-carbon economy endeavor, the North African country set a target of bringing the share of renewable energy to 52% of total energy consumption by 2020.
Morocco is developing renewable energy because it imports over 90 %of its fossil fuel needs and spends 12 % of its gross domestic product on energy imports.