Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments are pushing solar power as they seek to meet rising electricity demand at a time of growing constraints on the availability of conventional fuels. The latest project to leave the drawing board is Morocco’s 160mw concentrated solar power (CSP) project in Ouarzazate province; construction began on 10 May.

The plant will be named Noor-1 – a name already chosen by Abu Dhabi’s Masdar for a 100mw solar photovoltaic (PV) project which is out to tender (MEES, 22 March). Morocco’s Noor-1 is being developed by Riyadh-based ACWA Power for the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen). Start-up is expected in the second half of 2015. Noor-1 will be developed into a 500mw solar park. Masen has invited companies to qualify to build a 100mw CSP tower and a 200mw CSP parabolic trough plant. (CONTINUED - 492 WORDS)