• Masdar of Abu Dhabi has installed 9,000 solar home systems in Morocco rural electrification project, which targets 17,670 systems
  • The systems comprise 290 W panels, batteries with storage for three days, 165-liter refrigerator and LED lamps
  • Project part of Masdar and ONEE of Morocco, set to complete by second half of 2016
  • Full installation by the end of 2017 will ensure 99% of rural Morocco to have access to energy

Abu Dhabi based renewable energy firm, Masdar along with Morocco’s Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) have reached the half way mark of a rural electrification project that aims to install solar home systems in 940 villages across Morocco.

In March 2015, Masdar and ONEE partnered to supply and install 17,670 residential solar systems in 940 Moroccan villages. On April 9, 2016, they announced that a total of 9,000 systems had been installed. The project is expected to be fully completed by the second half of 2016. After full installation, 99% of rural Morocco will have access to energy by the end of 2017.

All solar home systems comprise energy-efficient appliances, such as LED lamps and a 165-liter refrigerator, 290 W PV panels and batteries with storage capacity for three days.

The CEO of Masdar, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, said, “The Kingdom of Morocco is a mature market for utility-scale renewables, but the country has also made exceptional progress in electrifying rural areas,” and added, “This project advances the global goal of delivering sustainable energy for all, and is another remarkable achievement for Morocco as it prepares to host COP22 at the end of this year.”

The innovative project was signed by Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and chairman of Masdar, and Ali Fassi-Fihri, director general of ONEE. Funding for the project comes from a grant by the Abu Dhabi government, while Masdar is providing the solar home systems prepared by Masdar Special Projects, a division of Masdar Clean Energy, which specializes in deploying renewable energy solutions in remote, rural communities. Masdar and ONEE will together design, supply, install and commission the systems, while the former will provide maintenance and operational training for the initial two years after which ONEE will take over the same.
The project strives to use locally sourced materials and employ local contractors for the installation and maintenance of the systems. Director of Masdar Special Projects, Khaled Ballaith, said, “The systems we designed for rural Morocco are adapted to the particular geography, and various technical elements, such as the mounting frames and three-day storage capacity, help the systems function even under snowfall.”

Morocco is aiming to have 42% of its energy requirements being fulfilled by renewable sources by 2020, including 2 GW of installed solar capacity, which will contribute 14% of the country’s total installed capacity.