Hundreds of curved mirrors, each of the size of a bus, lined up in rows covering 1.4 million square meters of the Moroccan desert. The idea is Morocco one day from this complex to release extension cord to Europe.
The complex is located 10 kilometers from the city of Ouarzazate, tale called “Gate of the Desert”, which has 330 sunny days a year. Collectors collected energy is transferred to heat the synthetic oil that flows through the network pipes which are connected to the mirrors. Oil temperature once reached 350 degrees Celsius, is used to produce steam at high pressure turbine which drives a generator.
This project completely revitalize the region, employing 2,000 people, starting construction of roads for access to farm and associated surrounding villages. Seen “opposition” when the project is finished, from these 2000 it will employ only 100 people, and the water used for its needs (cleaning and cooling) are drawn from the local dam which already has problems with the reserves in the semi-desert region.
60% of the money for the project are from the EU and Nur 1, the first phase of Morocco’s solar farm, already exceeding expectations in terms of energy produced. In 2020 Morocco plans 14% of its electricity to be generated from renewable sources, solar + wind and water. Till 2030 they plan to go as high as 52%. Such ambitions of Morocco are far higher than those of the Americans, where Obama has set the target of 20% by 2030.