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Photos: The world’s largest concentrated solar power plant opens in the Moroccan desert

Noor 1 concentrated solar plant from above
Masen
Frankly enormous.
  • Cassie Werber
By Cassie Werber

Cassie writes about the world of work.

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Morocco, a country used to importing almost all its energy, is building the biggest concentrated solar power station in the world. The first phase just opened.

Masen
In the desert.

Once it’s fully operational—around 2018, the builders hope—the plant will produce enough energy for more than 1 million Moroccan homes, according to the World Bank and the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency (Masen), which are behind the plant.

Masen

The panels will take up an area the same size as Morocco’s capital, Rabat.

CIF/World Bank

In concentrated solar (which differs from photovoltaic), mirror configurations focus the sun’s energy. This heats a fluid, eventually producing steam to drive a generator.

CIF/World Bank

Up to 11% of the world’s electricity could come from CSP by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency. Africa and the Middle East are well-placed to be the powerhouse.

Masen

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