Africas largest wind farm at 301MW now fully operational
The 301MW Tarfaya wind farm on Moroccos southern Atlantic coast began full commercial operation on 8 December 2014.
The project was gradually brought online in 50MW tranches from June 2014. It comprises 131 wind turbines of 2.3MW each, spread over an area of 8,900 hectares.
It will be operated by Tarfeya Energy Company (Tarec), a joint venture of French/UK GDF Suez Energy International and Moroccan Nareva Holding, on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis. The project secured $350m of financing in 2012.
Moroccos Office National de lElectricite et de lEau Potable (ONEE) will be the offtaker under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
It is currently the largest wind farm in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, but will be overtaken by the second phase of Egypts Gabal Al-Zeit project, which will bring its capacity to 440MW. The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) is due to award the main contract in December.
The successful completion of the project is another boost to Moroccos renewables programme, the most advanced in the region, which already supplies more than 2000MW. ONEE is evaluating BOOT bids for five more wind farms with a total capacity of 850MW, and worth more than $1.5bn.
The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen) is also evaluating bids for phase 2 of the Noor concentrated solar power plant, the largest of its type in the world at 200MW.