Morocco has activated the world’s largest solar power plant in the Sahara desert, near the city of Ouarzazate. According to Climate Investment Funds (CIF), the plant is capable of powering over one million homes by 2018 and will also reduce carbon emissions by 760,000 tons per year.
The plant which is called the Noor-Ouarzazate power complex uses concentrating solar power (CSP) which enables energy to be stored and used for nights and cloudy days.
When sunlight beams on the mirrors, a liquid heats up; when mixed with water, it reaches about 400 degree Celsius. As the process goes on, a steam is produced, and this steam facilitates a turbine which then produces electrical power.
In order to provide power at night or on cloudy days, a cylinder of salt melts by the warmth of the mirrors during the day and stays hot enough to produce up to three hours of power at night.
The project was funded by the World Bank, the Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund (CTF), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and European financing institutions.
“With this bold step toward a clean energy future, Morocco is pioneering a greener development and developing a cutting edge solar technology,”
“The returns on this investment will be significant for the country and its people, by enhancing energy security, creating a cleaner environment, and encouraging new industries and job creation,” World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly said.