Solar power has established solid grounds in Africa with numerous projects picking up speed, being backed up by Google and other major investors. Now, the time has come for wind to receive the well-deserved attention, with Africa’s biggest wind farm starting to generate electricity in Southwestern Morocco.
The wind farm occupies a huge area of 10,000 hectares on the Atlantic coast, and generates enough electricity to power a good several thousand households. A total of 130 wind turbines, which are 80-meters high, are expected to produce around 300 megawatts of electricity once the farm becomes fully operational later on this year.
Currently, only 44 of the turbines are delivering electricity to the grid, but the work is at full speed, and Nareva Holding, the firm executing the task, are convinced that in October, the full capacity will be reached.
The costs of the project top 500 million euros, however it is worth every cent. Not only that the farm is the largest to date, overtaking Ethiopia’s Ashegoda project, which was holding the lead with its 84 turbines, but also, it is estimated that it will cut down the annual carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 900,000 tons.
But this is not all Morocco does to get in the game of renewable energy production. A major 160-megawatt solar power plant has been under construction since last year near Ouarzazate. The project is due to be completed next year, and considering the desert environment at the chosen location, it is surely going to be a great success.
Some time ago we told you about EU’s plans to import energy from North African wind and solar plants in order to meet 2020 emission targets. These plants were under construction back then, but it might well be that the Moroccan ‘wind monster’ is the first one to deliver the goods.
Image (c) AFP