The trip will additionally coincide with the launch of the construction of the concentrated solar power plant in the region of Ouarzazate. The Solar Impulse will take off in either May or June, and cross the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean embarking on its 48-hour journey. An intermediate stopover is planned in Madrid to switch pilots.
This flight is a preparatory attempt for the planned round-the-world flight in 2014. "We didnt have a moments hesitation in accepting the idea of working with Morocco," declared André Borschberg, co-founder and CEO of Solar Impulse. "This destination corresponds fully with the goals we had set ourselves, in terms of distance and flight duration." He added, "Flying as far as this, powered only by solar energy will be excellent training for the round-the-world trip."
The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) will welcome the Solar Impulse team. Morocco itself plans by 2020 to develop five solar complexes to generate 2,000 megawatts and curb 3.7 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions over time.
"We are full of admiration for the vision of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI and the intelligent energy policy adopted by Morocco. We are delighted to support it. Theirs is a pioneering project, which clearly demonstrates that the clean technologies we are promoting with Solar Impulse also have a role to play in everyday life," said an enthusiastic Bertrand Piccard, initiator and President of Solar Impulse.
Mustapha Bakkoury, President of the Management Board of MASEN, added, "It is quite natural, given the convergence between our respective convictions and goals, that Solar Impulse and MASEN combine forces for a project that brings to life the ideals and values that inspire us."