Solar project developer Nur Energie Ltd. announced the acceptance of the technical terms for the connection of its “TuNur” utility-scale solar export project from Tunisia into the Italian power network.
Under the terms of the offer, Terna, the Italian high-voltage transmission network operator, has specified a preliminary technical solution to connect up to 2000 MW of solar power produced in the Tunisian desert to the Italian network, with grid infrastructure sufficient to transport electricity to neighbour European countries.
Kevin Sara, Managing Director of Nur Energie, commented: "This is an excellent basis for further advancing our discussions with European electricity consumers and electric utilities for the purchase of solar electricity from North Africa. With Germany and Switzerland accelerating their phase-out of nuclear power, stable and predictable power supplies from solar power plants in Tunisia offer a significant and real alternative to fill this void in a time horizon until 2020, and at costs that are already competitive with offshore wind."
Based on Terna’s offer, Nur Energie will now accelerate planning for the cable interconnection across the Mediterranean, which involves laying a sub-marine high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) power cable to transport the electricity from Tunisia directly to European markets.
Dr. Till Stenzel, Chief Operating Officer of Nur Energie, furthermore pointed out: "The recent G8 summit highlighted the commitment of the world’s largest economies to support the emerging democracies in North Africa. TuNur is a concrete investment project that will help Tunisia to diversify its economy, bringing significant inward investment to create jobs in the country."
Nur Energie is an independent solar power plant developer in the Mediterranean region. Since 2008, it has focused on projects using CSP, PV and CPV technology in Europe, as well as North Africa. Its first project is a 38 MW CSP project on the island of Crete in Greece, and it is furthermore active in Tunisia and Morocco.
TuNur is a solar power project in Tunisia’s Southern region, capable of producing large volumes of stable and predictable solar electricity. Nur Energie has been developing TuNur since 2008. It will utilise concentrating solar power (CSP) technology. CSP technology uses mirrors to focus sunlight in order to generate heat, which can then be used to directly generate electricity, or stored so that it can be utilised after sunset or during periods of cloudy weather to extend electricity production.