Morocco will soon be home to the world’s largest solar farm, according to a new report. The city of Ouarzazate is in the pipeline to get four mega solar plants, all of them linked together into a single complex. This will operate alongside both wind and hydro energy farms, as well, the sum total of which is expected to produce half or more of the nation’s electricity needs by 2020. If all goes as planned, there might be enough electricity left over to export into Europe.
If all goes as planned, this project will make Morocco a global solar superpower, and will set the new standard for what a mega solar farm means. In this case, it will be the biggest CSP plant — concentrated solar power plant, that is. The project is being undertaken in phases, of which phase 1 is called Noor 1, and it’ll start in November.
Common photovoltaic panels won’t used, with the project instead using the more expensive and less common mirror technology. While the cost will be more, the benefits will ultimately win out, as the panels will be able to produce energy even at night. There will be 500,000 solar mirrors dotting the desert, where they’re poised to harness massive amounts of electricity.
There will be 800 rows, with each mirror in them being equipped with technology for tracking the sun as it moves across the sky, optimizing how much energy they produce. It is expected the final plant, with all four linked together, will produce 580MW of energy — enough to power a million houses.