Storage Breakdown at Moroccan Solar Plant Incurs $47 Million Loss for Saudi Company

Saudi Arabian renewable energy utility ACWA Power International disclosed a storage breakdown at one of its solar plants in Morocco, predicting a financial setback of approximately $47 million.

The affected facility, a 150-megawatt component of the Noor Ouarzazate solar complex, is slated to remain inactive until November 2024, as indicated by the company’s statement on the Saudi Stock Exchange website.

The incident underscores the persistent challenges concerning technical malfunctions and storage failures encountered at the concentrating solar power (CSP) plant.

Storage Breakdown at Moroccan Solar Plant Incurs $47 Million Loss for Saudi Company
Morocco’s economic council recommends discontinuing CSP in favor of cheaper photovoltaic and wind energy alternatives.

According to sources cited by Reuters last month, technical issues previously halted all production at the site for a duration spanning a year, commencing in the summer of 2021.

The company announced plans to address the storage issue by initiating repairs and is also considering the construction of a new storage tank.

Storage Breakdown at Moroccan Solar Plant Incurs $47 Million Loss for Saudi Company
Morocco aims for 52% renewable energy by 2030; falling short of solar targets, with coal plants still predominant.

In a 2020 report, Morocco’s economic, social, and environmental council advised discontinuing the use of concentrating solar power (CSP) due to its relatively high cost compared to photovoltaic and wind energy alternatives.

Morocco has set ambitious targets for renewable energy, aiming for it to constitute 52% of installed capacity by 2030, up from the current 37.6%. The focus lies predominantly on solar and wind power investments.

However, the country has encountered setbacks in solar energy development, with only 831 megawatts (MW) installed thus far, falling short of the anticipated 2,000 MW target by 2020.

While wind energy has partially compensated for this shortfall, coal plants, despite their environmental impact, remain the primary source of electricity generation.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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