Masdar celebrates installation of 19,438 Solar Home Systems in rural Morocco

13 JAN 2018
News Clean Energy
  • Completion of installation announced during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018
  • Off-grid project extends energy access to households in more than 1,000 rural villages

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, January 14, 2018 – Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, announced today at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), it has successfully completed installing a landmark off-grid solar power project that extends energy access to 19,438 homes in more than 1,000 rural villages in the Kingdom of Morocco.

The Morocco Solar Home Systems (SHS) project is a partnership between Masdar and Morocco’s Office National de l'Electricité et de l'Eau Potable (ONEE). The initiative is contributing to Morocco’s ambitious electrification efforts that have so far connected nearly all rural areas in the country with electricity.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, Morocco has around 128,000 homes powered by solar home systems, and ranks among the top three countries in Africa for the adoption of this technology.

“Morocco is a showcase for progressive policies and regulations that enable the adoption of renewable energy, and for effective public-private cooperation,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer, Masdar. “This has paved the way for our partnership with ONEE to deliver the Morocco Solar Home Systems.”

He added: “Off-grid solar has the capacity to deliver electricity access to remote regions practically and cost-efficiently. Masdar is proud to have contributed our expertise and experience to help implement this transformative project, and we remain a committed partner of Morocco to support the realisation of its long-term clean energy goals.”

Abderrahim El Hafidi, acting Director General, ONEE said: “The solar home systems project will help us provide over 99 per cent of our rural communities in Morocco with electricity. These remote, off-grid communities are often faced with challenging conditions in energy access, but this initiative is providing over 95,000 people with electricity through customized renewable energy solutions.”

Each of the installed systems delivered for the project consists of 290-watt solar panels and batteries, with sufficient storage capacity for up to three days, ensuring an uninterrupted power supply. Each home is also provided with energy-efficient LED lamps and a 165-litre refrigerator.

Masdar will maintain the solar home systems for two years through its Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors. After this period, ONEE will manage the network for an additional eight years. Each home-owner contributes a small monthly fee towards the upkeep of the technology.

Since 2006, Masdar has invested in renewable energy projects with a combined value of more than US$8.5 billion. The company’s share of this investment is over US$2.7 billion and the electricity generating capacity of these projects, which are either fully operational or under development, is nearly 3 gigawatts (GW) gross.

Masdar continues to grow its solar PV portfolio which includes the first solar thermal power plant producing electricity 24 hours a day, Gemasolar in Spain; the Middle East’s largest single renewable energy project, the 100MW Shams 1 CSP in Abu Dhabi.

In 2016, a Masdar-led consortium was appointed to build the 800MW third phase of the Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, quoting a record low price for solar power generation.

Masdar’s Clean Energy division is a leading developer and operator of utility-scale, grid-tied projects; applications providing energy access to communities away from the electricity grid; and carbon abatement projects.