For the development of technical and economical offer and the subsequent construction of the plant, the consortium signed a joint venture with TSK-Acciona-SENER.

MASEN, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy has announced Saudi’s ACWA in a consortium with Spain’s TSK and Aries have been awarded to build and operate the 160 MW Ouarzazate CSP plant in southern Morocco.

The consortium has passed the two rounds since in the last quarter 2010, MASEN unveiled a call for tenders. 19 bidders were selected in the first round and three in the second.

For the development of technical and economical offer and the subsequent construction of the plant, the consortium signed a joint venture with TSK-Acciona-SENER.

The Ouarzazate project will be one of the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world, with 160 MW of output power and 4 hours of thermal storage with molten salts, which will enable the plant to dispatch energy on demand to cover peak-consumption hours even after the sundown, a feature that other renewable energies can’t afford.

This is the first phase for a more ambitious plan to develop solar energy in Morocco in the Ouarzazate site and other regions in the country with financing support from World Bank and African Development Bank.

The three Spanish firms, TSK, Acciona and SENER have provided to ACWA, the consortium leader, a large experience and know-how in engineering, construction, commissioning and operation of concentrated solar power plants with thermal energy storage that probably no others can provide.

The success of Spanish companies is a result of the support to R&D for more than 30 years and the support for commercial deployment of this technology from Spanish government in the last years. This has made possible to Spanish companies to establish as leaders in the global market.

South Africa, US, Australia, UAE, India are already developing concentrated solar power projects, and in the short term countries like France, Italy, Cyprus, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Chile among others, are announcing to develop the first projects.

Ouarzazate plant will use parabolic trough technology. SENERtrough®, the solar collector assembly developed by SENER, a proven performance and cost optimized trough already installed in some Spanish plants, will be deployed in this plant.

TSK-ACCIONA-SENER will face the challenge to design, build and commission a more cost-competitive plant for Moroccan government and the other countries interested in this technology.

Protermosolar is the Spanish Association for CSP Industry, founded in 2004 to promote the development of this sector in Spain. With around 100 members, companies involved are related with CSP in the whole value chain. Protermosolar is also founder and vice-president of ESTELA, the European CSP Association.

http://www.protermosolar.com/