This is one of Morocco's most ambitious projects on its path towards the integration of renewable energies

The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy presents the shortlist of companies for the Noor III mega-project

Vista aérea de una planta de energía solar en Ouarzazate, en el centro de Marruecos - AP/ABDELJALIL BOUNHAR
AP/ABDELJALIL BOUNHAR - Aerial view of a solar power plant in Ouarzazate, central Morocco

Morocco continues to make great strides towards the goal of sustainability. A pioneer in the region, it is also one of the countries most committed to these initiatives at the international level. The news about new sustainable projects is continuous and, on this occasion, it is one of what is expected to be the cornerstone of solar energy, the Noor III mega-project, which is expected to have a capacity of 400 megawatts (MW).

Last Tuesday, the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) announced a shortlist of companies that will be the project partners. Those that finally participate will be responsible for the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of this third installation in the Noor series. The idea is that, when this third facility is operational, the total energy capacity will reach 1,600 MW.

FOTO/AP - Vista aérea de la central solar marroquí Noor 3 en Ouarzazate, en el centro de Marruecos
PHOTO/AP - Aerial view of the Moroccan solar power plant Noor 3 in Ouarzazate, central Morocco

The list of companies that have been selected as potential candidates has been divided into consortia. The first of these includes a company based in the Middle East with a high growth projection for the near future, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC, based in the United Arab Emirates. It is accompanied by Masdar in partnership with TAQA Morocco, based in the Alawi kingdom.

In a different consortium appears the Spanish company Acciona Generación Renovable, in partnership with Green of Africa, whose headquarters are located in Morocco. The third, also with a company representing the Kingdom, is the Moroccan company Nareva Holding, together with ACWA Power Company of Saudi Arabia.

In addition to these, there are consortiums formed purely by European companies, such as the one formed by the Spanish company Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios and the French company Vinci Concessions. And others with contenders from the Asian continent, such as the one involving the French company EDF Renouvelables S.A. and the Japanese company Mitsui & Co. To which must also be added one of the key players and strongest companies on the entire shortlist, Iberdrola Renovables Internacional S.A.

PHOTO/REUTERS - Planta de energía termosolar se muestra en Noor II Ouarzazate, Marruecos
PHOTO/REUTERS - Solar thermal power plant on display at Noor II Ouarzazate, Morocco

The idea of this mega-project is not only to serve as an energy source for the whole country, but also to represent a step forward in the move towards sustainability. Morocco is working hard on this objective and wants to make Noor Midelt III one of its flagships. To this end, in addition to having a wide production margin, it will also have an energy storage capacity of 400 MW.

Through this type of initiative, Rabat also wants to encourage the participation of the private sector, whether from Morocco or internationally, as in many of the examples mentioned above. The statement issued by MASEN says that "with Noor Midelt III joining the existing Noor Midelt I and Noor Midelt II, the entire complex is poised to emerge as a global powerhouse in solar and renewable storage capacities".