Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen) has prequalified groups for the next phase of its Noor solar power complex in Ouarzazate, located in southern-central Morocco.

The projects, which involve building concentrating solar power (CSP) plants, will be developed through an independent power project (IPP) procurement model. The work will involve the design, financing, construction, and operation and maintenance (O&M) of one or more thermal solar plants with a combined total capacity of about 300MW.

The next phase of the Noor CSP programme is divided into two projects: Noor 2 and Noor 3. The Noor 2 project is a CSP parabolic trough project with a capacity of 200MW with storage. The Noor 3 project is a CSP tower scheme with a capacity of 100MW.

The prequalification list comprises some of the largest regional and international power developers, including Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power, the UK/French GDF Suez and Spain’s Abengoa.

The prequalifiers for the Noor 2 scheme are:

  • Abengoa (Spain)/Abengoa Solar (Spain)
  • Acwa Power International (Saudi Arabia)/Sener (Spain)
  • GDF Suez (UK/France)/Masdar (UAE)

The prequalifiers for the Noor 3 project are:

  • Abengoa (Spain)/Abengoa Solar (Spain)
  • Acwa Power (Saudi Arabia)/Sener (Spain)
  • GDF Suez International Energy (UK/France)/Masdar (UAE)/Solar Reserve (US)
  • EDF (France)/Mitsui (Japan)/Brightsource (US)/Alstom (France)/Brookstone Partners (Morocco)

Masen intends to issue the request for proposals (RFP) for both the Noor 2 and Noor 3 schemes early in the fourth quarter of 2013.

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