At the beginning of the ceremony, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Moroccan Agency For Solar Energy (MASEN), Mustapha Bakkoury, delivered an address before the sovereign in which he presented the progress of the Moroccan Solar Plan, the key steps of the development process of the first plant of the Ouarzazate solar complex and future prospects.
For his part, Managing Director of the National Electricity and Drinking Water Office (ONEE), Ali Fassi Fihri, stressed that demand for electricity has almost tripled since 1999, reaching over 34,000 GWh at the end of 2015, adding that the national energy strategy, which gives prominence to the promotion of renewable energies, comes within this energy context .
The ceremony was also marked by the screening of a corporate film explaining the different stages of the development of the first solar power plant "Noor I".
On this occasion, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Moroccan Agency For Solar Energy (MASEN), Mustapha Bakkoury, handed the Sovereign a book and a trophy (sculpture) relating to the Noor project.
Thereafter, HM King Mohammed VI launched the official commissioning of the Noor I plant. Built on an area of about 480 hectares, the 160 MW power plant is equipped with thermo-solar cylindrical parabolic troughs and has 3 hours of energy storage capability. The project required an investment of 7 billion dirhams.
Then, the Sovereign launched the construction works of the second and third plants of the Ouarzazate solar complex (Noor II and Noor III).
Built on area of 680 ha, Noor II (810 million euros) is a 200 MW power plant with thermo-solar cylindrical parabolic troughs and 7 hours of energy storage capability.
Noor III is an installed capacity of 150 MW which will employ central tower technology with salt receivers and 7 to 8 hours of energy storage capability and will require a budget of 645 million euros.
These three projects, combined with the photovoltaic phase (Noor IV), will make Noor Ouarzazate the largest multi-technology solar production site in the world with a capacity of 580 MW and a total investment of over 24 billion dirhams, excluding common infrastructure developed by Masen and ONEE for the needs of developers. These infrastructures meet the needs of electric connection, road transport, supply of raw and potable water, drainage, telecommunications and security.
The Noor Ouarzazate complex will house a 16-hectare theme park whose layout reproduces the map of the Kingdom, as well as structural facilities, including a multipurpose building with spaces dedicated to the operation and functioning of the site, an auditorium, a media library and an observation tower offering panoramic views.
The ceremony took place in the presence of the Head of Government, Speakers of both Houses of Parliament, HM the King's Advisors, Cabinet members, representatives of States and international organizations that have made contributions to the financing of this megaproject, members of the diplomatic corps accredited in Morocco, and several distinguished guests.