Morocco launches new US$163m windfarm to boost renewable energy utilization

MOROCCO – Morocco has launched the construction of the US$163 million Taza wind farm to boost renewable energy utilization in the country.

According to a statement by Morocco World News the launch “follows the finalization of various agreements and contracts with Moroccan public entities, stakeholders ‘ONEE and MASEN’ and the establishment of financing provided by international banks.”

The wind farm will be constructed through a partnership between France’s EDF Renewable Energies (EDF-EN), Japanese trading house Mitsui, the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN), and Morocco’s National Office of Drinking Water and Electricity (ONEE).

A statement from Moroccan authorities revealed that the Taza wind farm will be located approximately 15 kilometers northwest of the city.

The statement further indicated that the firm will be constructed in phases.

The first phase will include 27 wind turbines with a capacity of 87 megawatts, out of the 159 megawatts capacity that the wind farm will have.

The list of banks financing the project includes Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), MUFG Bank, and the Moroccan Bank of Africa (BMCE).

EDF Renewables and Mitsui represent 60% and 40%, respectively, of the private interests in the project and together the firms will hold 65% of the capital of the project company while Morocco’s ONEE, MASEN, and the Hassan II Fund will hold the remaining 35%.

The project according to Moroccan authorities is expected to create 500 direct jobs and will thus contribute to the region’s economic and social development.

The park’s production, according to Moroccan authorities, will be equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 350,000, or around 70% of the population of a province such as Taza.

The Taza wind farm project is part of Morocco’s renewable energy approach, which seeks to continuously increase the share of renewable energies in the electricity mix to 52% by 2030.

Morocco currently produces over 35 percent of its electricity output from renewable energy sources and has an installed capacity of about 3,000 megawatts.

The ministry set ambitious objectives to expand its renewable energy capacity to 10,000 megawatts by 2030.

The additional capacity includes 4,500 megawatts of solar energy, 4,200 megawatts of wind energy, and 1,300 megawatts of hydroelectric energy.

To achieve its objectives, the ministry, along with energy sector partners, has developed an energy strategy including programs, reforms and implementation of ambitious projects such as the Taza wind farm.

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