Morocco delays inauguration of world's largest solar plant

Morocco’s solar energy agency Masen has called-off the inauguration ceremony for the Noor-1 concentrated solar power (CSP) plant – due to be held this Sunday – with no reason given for the postponement.

According to AFP, the communications agency acting on behalf of Masen was unable to explain why the hotly anticipated inauguration had been canceled.

The first phase of the Noor-1 CSP plant is 160 MW in capacity, but the entire complex – once completed – will be 580 MW in size, making it the world’s largest solar power production project.

Situated across 11.6 square miles in the desert near Ouarzazate in Morocco, the solar plant aims to create 2 GW of solar generation capacity by 2020, meeting 38% of Morocco’s annual electricity needs, and cutting the country’s carbon emissions by 240,000 tons per year.

Phases two and three – Noor-2 and Noor-3 – are scheduled to be completed in 2016 and 2017 respectively, and there is already a call open for tenders for Noor-4. However. This unexpected setback may heap further delays on to the project.