Morocco’s Office National de l’Electricite (ONE) has extended the deadline for developers to respond to a request for qualifications (RFQ) to build five wind farms from 27 April to 21 June.

ONE announced plans to extend the deadline on 27 April and has since revealed the new submission date. In a statement, ONE said that it has witnessed significant interest, particularly from European investors, to participate in the wind programme. It has said that several prospective bidders requested additional time to prepare their RFQ responses.

The winning bidder will construct five wind farms with a total capacity of 850MW at the following locations:

  • Tanger II (Tangier): 150MW
  • Midelt (Midelt): 100MW
  • Jbel Lahdid (Essaouira) 200MW
  • Tiskrad (Laayoune): 300MW
  • Boujdour (Boujdour): 100MW

The exact sizes of the projects may change, according to the findings of ONE’s studies at the sites. ONE has also said it may add more projects to the programme at a later date.

The developer will design, finance, construct, operate and maintain the wind farms as independent power projects (IPPs). In addition to the five new wind farms, the developer and turbine supplier must have the capacity to also extend the 50MW Koudia al-Baida Al II wind farm in Abdelkhalek Torres to a total capacity of 200MW.

While the private developer will be responsible for the financing of the projects, funds will be made available through ONE, Societe d’Investissement Energetique (SIE) and Hassan II Fund.

ONE has appointed consultants to advise on an 850MW wind power programme. The UK’s HSBC has been selected as financial adviser, while the US’ Baker & McKenzie is legal adviser and the UK’s Garrad Hassan is technical adviser.

The wind farm programme is part of Morocco’s plan to meet its renewable energy target of 42 per cent of installed capacity, based on renewable energy by 2020. In addition to the 850MW programme, ONE is also tendering a 150MW wind farm at Taza, northern Morocco.

Taza wind farm will be constructed at a site located 12 kilometres northwest of Taza on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis. ONE has named Japan’s Mitsui and France’s EDF Energies Nouvelles as the preferred bidder to build the project.