Morocco extends deadline for Noor Midelt II bids; Lebanon launches feasibility study for first CSP plant

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Morocco is tendering for a 230 MW CSP-PV plant at Noor Midelt II, following record low CSP prices in its previous tender. (Image credit: World Bank)

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Morocco extends tender deadline for 230 MW Noor Midelt II project

The Moroccan Sustainable Energy Agency (Masen) has extended the tender deadline for the 230 MW Noor Midelt II CSP-PV project by a "few additional weeks" to later this month, Moroccan media reported October 9.

The Noor Midelt II tender was launched in July and developers originally had until September 16 to submit their project proposals.

The extended deadline would encourage developers to submit more competitive bids and innovative technology configurations, an unnamed source told Le Matin newspaper. A consortium including Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power and U.S. group General Electric have already submitted proposals, local media reported.

In May, Morocco awarded the 800 MW Noor Midelt I project to an EDF-led consortium at a record-low price of 68 dirhams/MWh ($71/MWh).

 Global levelized costs for solar, wind in 2010-2022

                               (Click image to enlarge)

Source: International Renewable Energy Agency report,'Renewable power generation costs in 2018' (May 2019).

Five international CSP consortia pre-qualified for the Noor Midelt I tender, including groups led by ACWA Power, France's EDF, Engie, Germany's Innogy and Japan's JGC.

EDF's winning consortium, which includes the UAE's Masdar and Morocco's Green of Africa, will install 200 MW of parabolic trough CSP capacity, 600 MW of PV capacity and five hours of energy storage capacity. Spain's TSK group will act as CSP technology provider and engineering procurement contractor (EPC).

Noor Midelt I features a combination of thermal energy storage and battery storage technologies for greater efficiency, Oliver Baudson, Managing Director at TSK Flagsol, the specialist CSP subsidiary of TSK, told New Energy Update in June.

TSK Flagsol will supply its parabolic trough collector technology and design optimization favored 800 MW of total installed capacity, Baudson said.

Noor Midelt I will be located 20 km north of the town of Midelt, on a site measuring direct normal irradiance (DNI) of around 2,360 kWh per square-meter per year. Construction will begin in Q4 2019 and the plant is due online by 2022, EDF said.

The Noor Midelt projects form part of Morocco's plan to supply 52% of power generation from renewable sources by 2030, equivalent to 6 GW of new renewable energy capacity.

Morocco has already completed three CSP plants at its Noor Ouarzazate solar park for a combined capacity of 510 MW. All three plants were developed by a group led by ACWA Power.

Lebanon to study feasibility of 50 MW CSP plant

The Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC) has issued a request for proposals (RfP) for a feasibility study for a new CSP plant in the Hermel region in the north-east of Lebanon, according to media reports. The plant would be Lebanon's first CSP plant and consultancies have until November 26 to submit their bids.

The selected consultancy will study the technical feasibility and environmental impact of a 50 MW CSP plant with 7.5 hours of storage, the reports said.

The studies will be funded by a grant from the Dutch Develop2Build program. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) will manage the program and evaluate the results.

CSP developers in Lebanon will need to import some major components such as steam turbines and heat transfer fluids, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said in a report published in October 2018.

Plant materials such as steel, copper, glass and plastic used to manufacture reflectors, receivers, heat storage equipment and steel structures would be available locally, IRENA said. Civil works, installation and construction services could also be supplied by local companies.

                              Lebanon CSP manufacturing capability

                                                            (Click image to enlarge)

Source: IRENA report 'Evaluating Renewable Energy Manufacturing Potential in the Arab Region,' (October 2018).

"Currently, the CSP market is slow in Lebanon. Therefore, investing in the local manufacturing of technology components would not be possible in the medium-term," IRENA said.

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