Protecting our planet, one step at a time: in the Moroccan desert, a generous sun

·2-min read
The Noor project, in Ouarzazate

The Noor project, near Ouarzazate, has become the largest solar energy capture plant on the African continent. It supplies one million Moroccan households with electricity day and night. Energy Observer Solutions met with Youssef Stitou, Noor Project Manager, to explain how this essential innovation for the energy transition works.

A few kilometres outside Ouarzazate, an area equivalent to 3,437 football pitches is covered in mirrors, reflectors and photovoltaic panels... Welcome to the NOOR solar power plant, the world's largest system of its kind in operation!

Mohamed VI, all hail the new Sun King

Morocco has set itself the target of having 42% of its energy supplied by renewable sources by the end of 2020. And for just reason. Enjoying over 300 days of sunshine a year, it is one of the countries with the highest level of irradiation. This makes it one of the best countries for the development of solar energy.

A set worthy of a sci-fi film

The Noor (light in Arabic) solar power plant spans 3,000 hectares making it the largest solar production complex in the world! It features over a million solar panels and has a production capacity of 580MW. It boasts ‘concentrating solar thermal' technology and at the centre of the complex stands the highest solar tower in Africa (243 metres). Thousands of mirrors reflect the sunlight at the top of the latter. The heat produced enables fusing salts to be heated up to a temperature of 565 degrees. This produces steam and spins a steam turbine, which drives a generator to produce electricity. This unique power plant supplies over a million households both day and night. It also saves the equivalent of 760,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

This weekly segment "Protecting the planet, one step at a time" gives the floor to the NGO Energy Observer Solutions, which carries out reports all over the world.

Energy Observer is the name of the first hydrogen-powered, zero-emission vessel to be self-sufficient in energy, advocating and serving as a laboratory for ecological transition. Criss-crossing the oceans without air or noise pollution for marine ecosystems, Energy Observer sets out to meet women and men who devote their energy to creating sustainable solutions for a more harmonious world.

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