The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen) has announced on January, 23 the prequalification process for the second phase of the Ouarzazate CSP complex has kicked off.

The Ouarzazate CSP Next Program seeks to develop 300 MW of CSP at the site, where a first phase has begun to be built by the winning consortium comprised by Saudi’s ACWA and Spain’s Aries and TSK. The first phase includes a parabolic trough plant of 160 MW with three hours of solar thermal storage.

Masen has launched a request for qualification process to select potential sponsors to develop this second phase through the Independent Power Producer (IPP) scheme, consisting of the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of one or more CSP plants with a total capacity of about 300 MW.

According to Masen’s press release, the Ouarzazate CSP Next Program is divided into two separate projects; on one hand a tower type plant with about 100 MW and on the other hand a parabolic trough plant with 200 MW output, both projects are intended to have thermal storage. Applicants may submit proposals for either one of both of the projects.

Masen wil sign a Power Purchase Agreement with the bidding winner for 25 years and will provide the land at the site. Masen "strongly encourages" the applicants to procure locally part of their equipment and components, as one of the targets of the Moroccan Solar Plan is to create a compettive solar industry in Morocco.

The applicants will be selected for each of the projects through a competitive bidding process. The projects will be awarded to the applicants that make the most advantageous offer to Masen according to criteria to be disclosed in the Request for Proposals to be issued yet.

According to the Request for Qualification (RfQ), Masen contemplates to take a stake between 20% and 30% in the Project Company and the O&M company.