Solar-powered energy has taken another giant leap forward, this time in Morocco, as it’s been announced that it will host the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant, located at the edge of the Sahara Desert.

Parabolic trough at a plant near Harper Lake, California

The idea behind the plan for the new installation is to help generate renewable electricity that will subsequently power almost half of the country in the next five years leading up to 2020.


The initial phase of the project consists of a 160 MW power plant named Noor 1. The completion of the plant will be realised next month, reports say.


The project will be located in the Moroccan city of Ouarzazate, and this ground-breaking build is set to involve installing a complex of four linked solar plants, Noor 1 being the first of the four. The plant will inhabit a space equivalent to that of Rabat, Morocco’s capital city, and will produce around 500 MW of electricity. Just to allow you to comprehend the magnitude of the development, these plants will produce enough power for one million homes!


When speaking to The Guardian Morocco’s environment minister, Hakima el-Haite said: “Noor 1 will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, avoiding the emission of 240,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year over a 25-year period.”


“The £6 billion project is the Moroccan government’s plan to expand the desert country’s renewable energy supply. “We are not an oil producer. We import 94% of our energy as fossil fuels from abroad and that has big consequences for our state budget.”


The state-of-the-art technology (CSP) used for the project works by using half a million crescent-shaped mirrors, in some 8000 rows to focus the sun’s rays onto a special liquid. The liquid, mixed with water, reaches temperatures of up to 393 Celsius, and in doing so creates steam that can, in turn, power a generator.

A diagram of how Concentrated Solar Power works unlike standard Solar power at glamping UK abodes.


At the moment, most solar powered tech is only optimal during the day when the sun is out, but this system is able to store power for when the sun goes down, and will be able to generate power at night-time, which will make a huge difference.


The imminent Noor 2 and 3 plants set to join Noor 1 are in the pipeline to launch in 2017.


While we don’t have these solar sources at our glamping UK accommodation, we do have a number of abodes that are powered using solar energy. Why not contact us to try them for yourself?


Image: Z22 and McSush under Creative Commons.

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