World Bank Finances Concentrated Solar Power Plant in Morocco

November 2010: A World Bank-financed concentrated solar power plant cutting edge design  is now supplying electricity to the Moroccan electricity grid.

The 470 MW plant features 224 parabolic mirror collectors that concentrate sun energy and boost the steam output needed to produce electricity. The plant was funded by several sources, including a US$43.2 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and loans from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Instituto de Credito Official (Spain) and equity from the Moroccan State-owned utility Office National de l'Electricité (ONE).

Building on this success, the Government of Morocco announced the Moroccan Solar Plan in November 2009, targeting 2000MW of additional solar electricity production capacity by 2020 and created the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy to help mobilize investments. The next plant to be built is the 500 MW Ouarzazate plant, an integral component of the Middle East and North Africa Concentrated solar Scale up Investment Plan, for which the Clean Technology Fund approved a US$750 million contribution in December 2009. [World Bank Press Release]