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Morocco launches 400MWh solar plus storage tender

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Prequalification for a large solar plus storage project in Morocco has been launched by the country’s state-funded renewable energy development organisation Masen.

Masen issued its invitation for interested parties to pre-qualify for the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance tender for the Noor Midelt III project today (9 August), with a deadline for submissions on 20 October 2023.

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The project will combine a solar PV array with a battery energy storage system. The document said its expected net capacity during off-peak hours will be 200MWac and is not to exceed 230MW, measured at the delivery point. During peak hours, the project is expected to provide around 400MWh of energy from the BESS.

The DC/AC ratio of the PV needs to be optimised to provide a firm curve during sunny days, with more details on that curve provided at the RfP (request for proposals) stage.

Masen will enter into a 30-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the project, while also acting as shareholder and land provider, the document, available here, said.

Morocco is aiming for a renewable energy mix of 52% by 2030, and this project is the third in a series of co-located solar and storage projects on the same land each titled Noor Midelt. Masen said the hybridisation was chosen “…in order to optimise the operating parameters of the plants by enabling supply of electricity after sunset while providing a low-cost solution for daytime generation.”

News reports say that Masen last week shortlisted six bidders for the preceding Noor Midelt II project. They are all large international independent power producer (IPPs): ACWA Power, Grupo Cobra, EDF Renouvelables, International Power, Iberdrola Renovables International and Enel Green Power.

There are also three operational projects called Noor I, II and III which combined concentrated solar power (CSP) arrays with energy storage (an example of CSP in Morocco pictured above).

Another major project in Morocco is a 10.5GW solar-plus-wind-plus-storage of which a large chunk of the offtake would be transported to the UK via subsea cables, being developed by Xlinks.

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