Pow­erChina sees fu­ture in­Morocco

Util­ity to com­plete world’s big­gest so­lar plant in North African coun­try by 2018

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By ZHONGNAN zhongnan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Power Con­struc­tion Cor­po­ra­tion of China, one of the coun­try’s largest hy­dro and ther­mal power project providers in terms of both rev­enue and over­seas mar­ket share, will com­plete the world’s largest so­lar plant by en­ergy out­put — the Noor com­plex so­lar plant — in Morocco by 2018, an ex­ec­u­tive said onWed­nes­day.

The State-owned enterprise signed an EPC con­tract for the phase II and phase III projects with the Moroc­can gov­ern­ment in 2015, as the coun­try is rich in sun­light and is keen to be­come a ma­jor so­lar power user in the world.

EPC, or en­gi­neer­ing, pro­cure­ment and con­struc­tion projects, is a com­mon form of con­tract­ing ar­range­ment in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try.

Once it is com­pleted, the Ouarza­zate prov­ince-based so­lar plant will have a to­tal in­stalled ca­pac­ity of 510 megawatts.

WuWen­hao, deputy gen­eral man­ager of Pow­erChina In­ter­na­tional Group, the in­ter­na­tional arm of Pow­erChina, said the Noor com­plex so­lar plant has adopted con­cen­trat­ing so­lar power, which is more ex­pen­sive to in­stall than the widely used pho­to­voltaic pan­els, but un­like them, en­ables the stor­age of en­ergy for cloudy days and nights.

Mir­rors fo­cus the sun­light and heat up a liq­uid, which, when mixed with wa­ter, reaches around 400 C. The steam gained from this process drives a tur­bine and gen­er­ates elec­tri­cal power.

“As Morocco gets more than 3,000 hours of sun­light a year, the plant will ini­tially pro­vide 1.1 mil­lion peo­ple with so­lar elec­trici- ty,” said Wu.

The $2-bil­lion project is funded by the Moroc­can Agency for So­lar En­ergy and Saudi Power. Un­der the sched­ule, the Noor com­plex project will con­trib­ute around 20 per­cent of Morocco’s an­nual elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion in 2018.

This project also is part of Morocco’s am­bi­tious so­lar en­ergy devel­op­ment pro­gram, which aims to in­stall 2 gi­gawatts of so­lar power ca­pac­ity by 2020.

He Jing­tong, anen­ergy pol­icy pro­fes­sor at Nankai Uni­ver­sity in Tian­jin, said pro­mot­ing so­lar in­dus­try is an ef­fec­tive method of cut­ting green­house gas emis­sions, es­pe­cially in semi-arid and arid re­gions such as North Africa and the Mid­dle East, where sun­light re­sources are rich.

“It is also help­ful to trans­fer the pil­lar busi­ness of Pow­erChina from build­ing hy­dro and ther­mal power sta­tions to more clean en­ergy re­lated projects to fur­ther di­ver­sify its over­seas busi­ness, as well as ex­pand­ing its mar­ket reach,” he said.

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