The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen) has extended the prequalification deadline for the next phases of the 500MW solar power complex planned for Ouarzazate in Morocco.

Firms now have until 15 April to submit prequalification entries for the concentrated solar power (CSP)  project. The original submission date for prequalification entries was 25 March. The project will involve the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of one or more thermal solar power plants, which will have a total capacity of about 300MW.

The CSP scheme is divided into two projects, the first of which is a 100MW CSP tower project with a capacity of about 100MW, and the second of which is a CSP parabolic trough project, which will have a capacity of about 200MW. Storage is planned for both projects.

The first 160MW phase of the Ouarzazate project is being developed by Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power International under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA), which secured €345m ($441m) in funding from EU investors in November 2012. Three groups had submitted bids for the project in early 2012.

The solar projects are part of Morocco’s national energy strategy, which aims to meet its renewable energy target of 42 per cent of installed capacity by 2020.