April 17, 2024
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OIL & GAS RENEWABLE ENERGY

Saudi-Owned ACWA Power Faces $47 Million Loss Due to Solar Plant Breakdown in Morocco

ACWA Power International, a Saudi Arabian renewable energy utility, has announced a storage breakdown at one of its solar plants in Morocco, part of the Noor Ouarzazate solar complex. This setback is expected to cost the company an estimated $47 million, forcing the 150-megawatt plant to remain idle until November 2024, as reported on the Saudi Stock Exchange website.

This incident underscores the recurring technical issues and storage breakdowns experienced at the concentrating solar power (CSP) plant. Last summer, technical problems halted all output at the facility for a year, according to sources cited by Reuters.

ACWA Power stated its intention to repair the storage issue and is considering the construction of a new storage tank. However, concerns persist regarding the viability of CSP technology. A 2020 report from Morocco’s economic, social, and environmental council recommended abandoning CSP due to its high cost compared to photovoltaic and wind energy alternatives.

Morocco aims to increase renewable energy’s share of installed capacity to 52% by 2030, up from the current 37.6%, primarily through investments in solar and wind projects. However, the country has faced challenges in meeting its solar energy targets, with only 831 megawatts installed thus far, falling short of the planned 2,000 megawatts by 2020. While wind energy has partially compensated for this shortfall, coal plants still dominate the energy landscape, highlighting the need for sustained renewable energy investments.

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