Acwa Power reaches financial close for Moroccan solar scheme

21 May 2015

Developer was selected as preferred bidder in January

  •  Total value of both projects is $2bn
  • Debt will be financed by client, largely through funds from development banks
  • Morocco recently invited expressions of interest in fourth phase of Noor development

Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power has reached financial close for the Noor 2 and Noor 3 solar projects, which make up the second phase of the Noor solar complex in Ouarzazate, Morocco.

The total value of both projects is about $2bn, which will be funded on an 80-20 debt to equity basis. The debt will entirely be financed by Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen), the client, which has received lending funds from the African Development Bank, the “Agence Francaise de Developpement,” the Clean Technology Fund, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau and the World Bank.

Spain’s Sener will provide the technology for the Acwa consortium. Noor 2 is a 200MW solar plant based on concentrated solar power (CSP) technology using a parabolic trough. Noor 3 is a 150MW CSP plant using molten salt storage. Acwa Power has signed 25 year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Masen.

Acwa Power is also the lead developer for the first phase of the Ouarzazate scheme. The firm was awarded the contract in late 2012 to develop the project under a contract tariff of 18.9 cents a kWh, then the lowest ever tariff selected for CSP technology. The Acwa Power consortium signed a 25-year PPA for the first phase, which will be worth an estimated total of $1.1bn over the period.

The 2,500 hectares Noor Ouarzazate site will become the largest concentrated solar power (CSP) complex in the world, at over 500MW, when the contracted capacity comes online.

MEED recently reported that Masen had invited companies to express interest in the fourth phase of the Noor development. The independent power project (IPP) involves design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the Noor IV solar plant. It will use solar photovoltaic (PV) technology and have a capacity of between 50MW and 70MW.

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