The Moroccan Solar Agency (Masen) has prequalified 20 groups to participate in the tender for its first major photovoltaic (PV) solar independent power project (IPP).

The Noor PV1 project will have a total capacity of 170MW, and will located over three sites at: Ouarzazate, Laayoune and Boujdour. Masen has already awarded contracts for more than 500MW of concentrated solar power (CSP) schemes, for the Noor 1, 2 and 3 projects, at the Ouarzazate site.

Prequalified companies:
   Abener Energia consortium: Abener Energia (Spain), Abengoa Solar España
   ACWA Power consortium: Acwa Power (Saudi Arabia), First Solar (US)
   Alfanar consortium: Alfanar (Saudi Arabia), Bester Generacion Sociedad Limitada (Spain), SolarReserve (US) 
   BTSA consortium: BTSA Netherlands Cooperatie, Cobra Instalaciones Y Servicios (Spain)
   Canadian Solar Consortium: Canadian Solar, Building Energy (Italy), Canadian Solar UK Projects
   EDF Energies Nouvelles consortium: EDF Energies Nouvelles (France) , Nebras Power (Qatar)
   Elecnor (Spain)
   ENEL Green Power (Italy)
   Eren Renewables consortium: Eren Renewables (France), TSK Electronic y Electricidad (Spain)
   Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (Spain)
   Hida Energy consortium: Hida Energy (local), Yingli Green Energy (China) , Novapower (US)
   Jinko Solar (Japan)
   Masdar consortium : Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), Grupo Gransolar (Spain)
   OCI Solar Power Consortium: OCI Solar Power (US), Chint Electric (China), KT Corp (South Korea)
   SECI Energia consortium: SECI Energia (Italy), JA (Yanghzou) Solar Photovoltaic Engineering (China), Sunbiose (India), Al Jeel Alhader Trading Company (Saudi Arabia), Enerray   (Italy) 
  Sinohydro Corporation Consortium: Sinohydro Corporation (China), TBEA Xinjiang Sunoasis (China)
  SunE Solar consortium: SunE Solar (US)
 SunPower consortium: SunPower Corporation (US), Temasol (Morocco), Total Energie Développement (France)
 Swicorp consortium: Swicorp (Saudi Arabia), Acciona Energia (Spain), Société Générale des Travaux du Maroc (local)
  Terra Sola consortium: Terra Sola Ventures (Bahrain), Hareon Solar Technology (US), Anouar Invest (local)

The Noor PV 1 project is part of Masen’s ambitious programme, which is targeting 2,000MW of solar energy by 2020, a third of the country’s 6,000MW renewable energy target in this period.

In January 2015, Masen awarded a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power to develop the estimated $2bn Noor 2 and Noor 3 solar projects.

The Noor 2 and 3 CSP projects, which are part of the Ouarzazate solar complex in the southern-central region of the country, will have a combined total capacity of 350MW.

Acwa Power had been the lowest bidder for both projects. For the Noor 2 scheme, the Acwa Power team submitted the low tariff price of 16 cents a kilowatt hour (kWh). The consortium led by Spain’s Abengoa submitted a tariff price that was 10.5 per cent higher, while the UK/French GDF Suez Energy International (now called Engie) submitted a tariff 24 per cent higher than Acwa Power’s price.

For the Noor 2 combined tariff, including Noor 3, Acwa Power submitted the lowest tariff, with a price of 15.7 cents a kWh. Abengoa submitted a proposal that was 11.9 per cent higher, while the GDF Suez consortium’s tariff was 23.6 per cent higher.

Acwa Power is already developing 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, the lowest ever tariff selected for CSP technology. The Acwa Power consortium signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the first phase, which will be worth an estimated total of $1.1bn over the period.