A consortium led by Rome-based energy developer Enel Green Power has been pre-awarded a contract to develop, design, finance, construct, operate and maintain five wind-energy projects under Morocco’s 10-year, $3.2-billion Integrated Wind Energy plan.
Enel Green Power (EGP) and its partners, Morocco’s Nareva Holding and German’s Siemens Wind Power, will develop the projects, valued at a total cost of $1.1 billion and estimated at a total capacity of 850 megawatts.
Three of the projects are in northern Morocco: Midelt (150MW), Tanger (100MW), Jbel Lahdid (200MW). The other two, Tiskrad (300MW) and Boujdour (100MW), are in southern part of the country. The generated power will be sold to Morocco’s power utility ONEE under a 20-year power-purchase agreement.
In partnership with Nareva, EGP said it will establish five subsidiary companies to execute the contract, while Siemens will deliver turbines for all the projects. Siemens could not immediately confirm the number and capacity of the wind turbines to be delivered for the wind projects.
Separately, Morocco is developing 720MW of wind projects, including Tarfaya (300MW), Akhfenir (200MW), Bab El Oued-Laayoune (50MW), Haouma (50MW) and Jbel Khalladi (120MW), as part of the integrated wind energy plan.
Morocco has long been the top importer of fossil fuel in North Africa and the Middle East. The nation relied on this expensive source for up to 98.9% of its energy supply.
The wind projects attracted other international renewable-energy firms, as well. Bidding either individually or as joint ventures, the firms include Acciona, France EDF, Qatar Electricity & Water Co., Fipar Holding of Morocco, Alston Wind, ACWA, Gamesa, Engie and Vestas.
EGP will provide 50% of the total projects through a mix of equity and debt. Siemens already has finalized plans to construct a major rotor-blade factory in Morocco to supply the projects with turbines as well as, generally, the African, Middle East and European wind markets. The $110-million factory’s construction is slated to commence this year and be operational by spring 2017, according to a previous company statement. The new factory will occupy an estimated 37,500 sq meters—the equivalent of five soccer fields—and its development will create at least 700 jobs.
Morocco hopes to increase the share of renewable energy in the country’s total energy mix to 42% by 2020 and 52% by 2030. Twenty percent of that will be from wind.