Noor 1 concentrated solar plant will provide enough electricity for more than a million homes when finished
By Ed King
The world’s largest concentrated solar power plant is open for business.
Morocco’s Noor 1 plant is the first phase of a vast array of parabolic mirrors that will eventually cover 30 square kilometres and power more than a million households.
The $9 billion project is part of a push to wean Morocco off fossil fuels. The country imports 91% of its coal, oil and gas, a situation long recognised as a serious drain on resources.
“Today we wrote a new page in the history of the climate,” said the country’s environment minister Hakima El Haite, after King Mohammed officially opened the plant.
— Bertrand PICCARD (@bertrandpiccard) February 4, 2016
The African Development Bank’s Yacine Fal said the complex would “serve as an example for Africa”, while the World Bank hailed its impact on energy security and job creation.
The plant – which was due to open in December – marks the latest stage in Morocco’s move towards a greener economy.
In 2014, it started a programme of fossil fuel subsidy reform, redirecting saved money into clean energy projects in a move former World Bank climate chief Rachel Kyte described as transformational.
This November, Marrakech hosts the COP22 UN climate summit, where countries will be expected to build on the Paris agreement signed off in December 2015.