Large-scale wind energy farm
Morocco has recorded new low tender bids for its 850MW large-scale wind energy project. Pic credit:sunwindenergy.com

Moroccan energy minister Abdelekader Amara revealed that the north African country has raised the bar and recorded new low bids for wind energy costs. This translates to Morocco’s 850MW large-scale wind power project securing tenders averaging between $25/MWh and $30/MWh.

Amara announced the improved milestone over the weekend at a ministerial round table meeting during the International Renewable Energy summit in Abu Dhabi, RenewEconomy reported.

“Real revolution”- energy generation

RenewEconomy reported that, this improvement in renewables sets the second record over the past two years witnessed at the IRENA summit.

Morocco vice minister for energy and environment, Abderrahim El Hafidi classified the achievement as “extraordinary”, adding that this is directed to a “real revolution” with regards to generating energy.

Although El Hafidi would not reveal who were the lowest bidders, reports in December 2015 identified the lowest bidders as a consortium led by Italy’s Enel Green Power, including Moroccan company Nareva Holdings and turbine builder Siemens.

Other bidders included Spain’s Acciona, France’s EDF Energy, in partnership with Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC), Morocco’s Fipar Holding of Morocco, and Alstom Wind; Saudi Arabian firm ACWA, in cooperation with Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Co- Gamesa, and France’s Engie and Vestas.

Wind energy projects cheaper than coal

Last year’s lowest bidding price was won by ACWA Power tendering for 200MW of large-scale solar PV with a price of $58.40/MWh.

In recent years, Morocco has invested in large-scale solar farms with a mix of solar PV, solar tower with storage, and parabolic trough technologies, in efforts to lower their dependence on fossil fuels.

El Hafidi added “Things have changed a lot…Now, we have wind projects cheaper than coal. The $30/MWh bid compares to coal which is 80/MWh.

“Isn’t that amazing that we can have confidence in renewable energy for the future of our energy and for the future of the planet. This is real. It is not a claim.”

IRENA director-general Adnan Amin said the Moroccan pricing achievement “indicates remarkable change and the pace of that change” in the cost of renewable energy technologies.

The 850MW Morocco tender includes five projects: the 150MW Tanger 2 in the northern part of the country, 300MW at Tiskrad, Laayoune, 200MW at Jbel Lahdid, and 100MW near Boujdour, as well as 100MW at Midelt.

Commissioning of the wind plants is projected between 2017 and 2020.