The Moroccan electricity company Nareva and Italy’s Enel Green Power have signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE) and the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) for a 270 MW wind project. The two partners plan to develop the wind farm at Jbel Lahdid, near Essaouira on the Atlantic coast of the Cherifian kingdom.

The wind project will be built as part of Morocco’s Integrated Wind Energy Programme which aims to build six wind farms with a total capacity of 1,000 MW by 2024. Morocco’s wind power programme is divided into two components. The first concerns the construction of a 150 MW wind farm in Taza. The second component will enable 850 MW of electricity to be supplied to Morocco’s national electricity network.

The Italian-Moroccan consortium has been awarded the right to design, finance, build, operate and manage the latest wind farm following a call for tenders in 2016. The Jbel Lahdid park will have a capacity of 270 MW instead of 200 MW as initially announced. Located 25 km north of Essaouira, the Jbel Lahdid wind farm is the third installation of Morocco’s wind power programme, after the Midelt (180 MW) and Boujdour (300 MW) wind farms under construction. The implementation of the Jbel Lahdid wind project will require an investment of USD314 million. The commissioning of the park is scheduled for the second half of 2023.

The last two wind farms under the Programme will be located in Tiskrad, in the province of Tarfaya (100 MW) and Tangier II in the province of Fahs Anjra (70 MW). According to the authorities of this North African kingdom, the Integrated Wind Energy Programme should make it possible to avoid the emissions of about 2.38 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, equivalent to the annual emissions of a city the size of Casablanca.

REGlobal’s Views: Morocco aimed to make 42 per cent of its energy production renewable energy-based in 2020 and plans to increase it to 52 per cent in 2030. Every new project is helping it inch closer to the long-term target.