Acwa Power Officially Switches on Khalladi Wind Farm Near Tangier
Leading Saudi electricity producer and desalter, Acwa power, officially switched on a 120 MW wind farm in northern Morocco as it continues to diversify its portfolio in the north African country.
The 1.8 billion dirham investment is the first wind farm to be launched by Acwa power, a group that operates in 10 countries notably in the field of solar power and desalination plants.
The plant is built in Mellousa area, 50 KM away from Tangier, and is designed to supply energy to cement producers at a lower tariff.
Speaking at a press conference, the Group’s CEO Paddy Padmanathan said Morocco offers a regulatory framework that encourages investments in renewable energies.
He said Acwa power’s projects in Morocco are in line with the Kingdom’s goal of producing 42 % of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.
He also said his company is interested in desalination plants and sees opportunities in Morocco’s photovoltaic and concentrated solar power projects.
Acwa Power is already operating the world’s biggest concentrated solar power plant in Ouarzazate.
The Khalladi plant was financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), BMCE Bank and the Climate Investment Funds and is 75% held by Acwa Power and 25% by Arif.
The Khalladi Wind Farm is one of the first private renewable energy projects in the country developed under a renewable energy law that allows private producers to sell electricity directly to clients connected to the high voltage and medium voltage grid, most of which are industrial companies.
The wind farm has 40 wind turbines, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 200,000 tons of CO2 per year.
“This is a landmark project in particular because it does not rely on government support but instead is selling power in a competitive environment, demonstrating that clean, renewable power has really come of age,” Harry Boyd-Carpenter, EBRD’s Head of Power and Energy Utilities said.
The ceremony was attended by cabinet members and officials from the Moroccan agency for renewable energies MASEN as well as Acwa Power partners and local authorities.