Ouarzazate Solar Power Station (OSPS), also known as Noor Power Station, is the world’s largest concentrated solar panel project. The OSPS Energy Complex is located 10 km from Drâa-Tafilalet Ouarza in Morocco. It is near an ancient fortified city. This is a solar power complex and an auxiliary diesel fuel system. It is the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant, generating 510 MW of electricity from the Ghessat Rural Council area. It is planned to generate 582 MW of electricity by the end of the project with an additional 72 MW optical voltage system. The power complex was completed in three phases and four parts. The estimated cost of the entire project is about $2.5 billion.
The auxiliary diesel fuel system is used to maintain the minimum temperature of the heat transfer fluid during short periods of sunlight (including at night), to synchronize the turbine to the power grid, and for other ancillary activities. The solar plant is stored in the form of heated molten salt for off-peak hours, allowing it to generate electricity overnight. Construction of the solar power plant began in 2013. Also Noor II, launched in 2018, and Noor III, launched in January 2019, have been able to store energy for up to eight hours. It covers an area of 2,500 hectares.
Ouarzazate Solar Power Station (OSPS) is also known as Noor I CSP. Phase 1 has an installed electrical capacity of 160 MW. It was connected to the Moroccan grid on February 5, 2016. This Noor 1 covers an area of 450 hectares. It provides about 370 GWh of electricity per year. When the Noor 1 project began operations, it cost $1.9 billion. Half a million solar panels are used for this project.
Noor II CSP Ouarzazate is the second phase of the world’s largest solar power plant in Morocco. It is a solar power plant that generates about 200 megawatts of electricity using parabolic troughs. It has a storage capacity of 7 hours. The Noor 2 power plant covers an area of 680 hectares. The power plant is expected to supply 600 GWh per year. It’s construction began in February 2016. The plant was commissioned in January 2018. The plant uses a dry cooling system to reduce water consumption. The project will provide electricity to 1 million people in Morocco. The project aims to save the world about 750,000 tons of CO2 emissions.
Noor III CSP is the third phase of the Ouarzazate solar power plant. Solar panels are mounted horizontally on platforms supported by ten-meter columns. Every platform here is like a tennis court. The 250 m high solar tower is a 7 MW solar power project that will be used as a 7 hour power storage. Solar panels have been installed to cover an area of 550 hectares. The task here is to supply 500 GWh of electricity per year. It uses a dry cooling system to reduce water consumption. This was launched in March 2018. Noor III is the only utility-built CSP tower ever built, but is the second largest power plant after the approximately 125 MW Crescent Dunes. The 150 MW Noor III is the most powerful CSP tower unit ever built.
This Noor IV is a 72 MW photovoltaic power plant. The total investment in the project was $ 78 million.
Benefits of OSPS
The Ouarzazate Solar Power Project is part of the Moroccan Solar Energy Program (NOOR) and planed to build solar complexes with a combined capacity of approximately 2GW by 2020 to meet the country’s energy demand. This created jobs for a large number of people. It also makes a significant contribution to reducing Co2 emissions. The Noor I CSP plant reduces Co₂ emissions and was able to create approximately 1,000 construction jobs and about 60 permanent jobs during the operation and maintenance phase.
During the construction of the Noor I plant, it was able to create nearly 2000 jobs. Also, at the time of operation of the plant (at present) it employs about 100 people. All of these plants greatly contributed to the reduction of Co2 emissions. The Noor I plant reduces Co2 emissions by 240,000 tons per year. That equates to about one percent of Morocco’s Co2 emissions. Noor II and Noor III solar power plants together have contributed to a reduction of Co2 emissions by 533,000 tons per year. A CSR project for women has also been launched in connection with these power plants. So if a corporate source gets renewable energy from these power plants and wants to support women, they can buy international RECs (I-RECs) with W+ units.