Noor Ouarzazate III receiver, image ©Sener

Spain’s Sener Grupo de Ingeniería (Sener) announced on 6 June that it will soon begin commissioning the central solar receiver for the 150MW Ouarzazate Noor III solar concentrated solar power plant in Morocco. Noor III is part of a large solar complex being developed and managed by the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen).

The plant is the second designed and built by Sener using the technology, which comprises a 250 metre-high central tower with molten salt heat storage and a field of 7,400 HE54 heliostats. Light reflected from the heliostats will heat the receiver to a temperature of 320oC. The molten salt system will provide 7.5 hours of storage.

Functional tests of the solar field have been completed and receiver pre-heating tests will be completed soon, allowing commissioning and the circulation of molten salt through the receiver to begin. This is expected within weeks with steam generation and power production expected soon afterwards.

Sener, Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power, China’s SEPCO III were awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract in 2015 for the 200MW Ouarzazate Noor II and 150MW Ouarzazate Noor III phases by Masen, both of which reach financial close in the same year. Masen put together a MD17bn ($1.74bn) debt package for both phases from development finance institutions including the World Bank ($400m), African Development Bank, Agence Française de Développement (€50m), Clean Technology Fund ($238m), the European Commission through a grant from the EU’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility, European Investment Bank and Germany’s KfW. Masen Capital holds 25% of the equity and the developers the remaining 75%.

Image ©Sener 2018

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