The newly-developed project will generate power in Morocco by using Concentrating Solar Power “CSP” parabolic trough technology.
Under the Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI,the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) and the winning consortium, led by ACWA Power, including Aries Ingeniería y Sistemas, S.A. and TSK Electrónica y Electricidad, signed the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the value of $1bn, for the sale of the net electricity output of the Ouarzazate CSP Independent Power Project with the capacity of 160MW located approximately 200 KM south of Marrakesh.
The 160 MW Ouarzazate CSP Project is a greenfield Independent Power Project (IPP) to be developed as the first project for the MASEN in a series of several planned developments at the Ouarzazate Solar Complex. The Ouarzazate complexis set todevelop into a 500 MW solar park incorporating several utility-scale solar power plants using various solar technologies. The first plant within this complex will be the 160 MW Ouarzazate CSP Project with 3 hours of thermal energy storagetobe developed onaBuild, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis.
The PPA was signed by Mr. Mustapha Bakkoury, the President of the Management Board of MASEN and Mr. Mohammed A. Abunayyan, the Chairman of ACWA Power representing the winning consortium. The official award to the consortium by MASEN was announced on 24 September 2012, making the period between award and signing of the PPA less than 2 months which is considerably short for a project of this size and magnitude. This gives the possibility, an objective set forthby all parties, to achieve financial closing before the end of 2012.
The ACWA Power consortium has selected as EPC contractor, a consortium composed of Spain’s TSK Electrónica y Electricidad, Acciona Infrastructuras, Acciona Ingeniería, and Sener Ingeniería y Sistemas. The EPC consortium will procure part of the scope locally in Morocco.The Operation and Maintenance will be undertaken by a consortium led by NOMAC, a subsidiary of ACWA Power. MASEN will be the offtaker of the energy produced according to the 25-year PPA. In addition, MASEN will provide Strategic Services to the Project such as the debt funding requirements.
Mohammed A. Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power, stated "I would like to thank His Majesty King Mohammed VI for honoring ACWA Power with his presiding over the signing ceremony". The presence of His Majesty highlights the significanceof the Ouarzazate Project and its soci-economic impact on the Kingdom of Morocco and its people. ACWA Power believes entering into a new market as an investor and operator also means embarking on a long-term relationship with the country as a whole and the local community specifically.In solidifying this long-term relationship an ACWA Power led consortium has been pre-qualified to submit a bid to construct five wind farms with a total capacity of 850MW, where out of the 16 parties who submitted pre-qualifications 6 developer consortiums were prequalified.
The signing of the PPA today highlights a series of significant milestones:
• Ouarzazate IPP will be the largest Solar CSP in the world.
• With the CSP technology used, the project will serve to abate a "green approach" capturing approximately 470,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions every year of operation.
• The technology used in Ouarzazate will be a positive factor in offsetting the Moroccan grid peak power demand period in particular due to its thermal storage."
The tariff delivered by the consortium led by ACWA Power was 28.8% lower than the one offered by the second bidder.Ouarzazate CSP IPP is a milestone also for this technology as it has demonstrated the cost at which solar power can be produced, which is significantly lower than what has been achieved to date and at the same time narrowing the gap between the cost of solar power produced using photovoltaic technology. The consortium will target to achieve financial closingby the end of 2012, while the plant commercial operation date (COD) is planned for the second half of 2015.