Morocco has commissioned 160MW Noor 1, the first phase of the world’s largest solar power plant located near Ouarzazate city.

Ouarzazate Solar Power Station (OSPS) is a solar power complex located in the Souss-Massa-Drâa area in Morocco, 10 km from Ouarzazate town, in Ghessat rural council area. The entire Solar Project is planned to produce 580 MW at peak when finished and is being built in three phases and in four parts. Total project expected to cost $9 billion.

The plant will be able to store solar energy in the form of heated molten salt, allowing for production of electricity into the night. Phase 1 comes with a full-load molten salt storage capacity of 3 hours. The planned Phase 2 (Noor 2 and 3 plants), due to open in 2017 and 2018 will store energy for up to eight hours. It will cover an area of 2,500 hectares (6,178 acres).

The project is developed with help of the Spanish consortium TSK-Acciona-Sener and is the first in a series of several planned developments at the Ouarzazate Solar Complex by the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN).