On Friday 10 May 2013, Morocco officially launched the first phase of the construction of a solar power plant near the city of Ouarzazate, the gateway to the Saharan desert. It will cost 7 billion dirham (or 630 million Euros) to build this world-class 160-megawatt thermo solar plant in an area of 3,000 hectares.

The first phase of the project will be led by Saudi developer ACWA Power and is expected to be completed by 2020. This plant will have enough capacity to supply electricity to 1.5 million residents in Ouarzazate.

Morocco is a kingdom with no natural gas or oil resources like its neighboring African countries, however with the high number of days of good sunshine each year, the Kingdom now plans to build more new solar plants and wind farms along the Atlantic Coast. In the future, Morocco aims to be a world-class renewable energy producer and an exporter of clean energy to European countries.

What an amazing vision for Morocco! Watch out for this the next time you are in Ouarzazate.