Morocco to have world's largest solar power plant

The city of Ouarzazate in Morocco is to be the location for the world's soon to be largest consolidated  solar power plant. Perched on the edge of the desert, the plant will take advantage of what researchers have long said is the potential of the desert sun for solar energy.

Ourzazate, where the word's largest concentrated solar power plant will be

Ourzazate, where the word's largest concentrated solar power plant will be Image by mhobl / CC BY 2.0

The plant will consist of four connected mega complexes. The solar panels themselves won't be the ones we are familiar with on people's roofs, but a more sophisticated mirror system that according to The Guardian has "the advantage of being able to continue producing power even after the sun goes down".

The plant should be complete by 2020 and by the time it's finished it will be the same size as Morocco's capital, Rabat. When it's up and running it will provide over half of Morocco's electricity,  580MW, enough to power a million homes. The first segment of the development will be launched next month and is called Noor 1.

Ouarzazate is the same city where Lawrence of Arabia and The Mummy were filmed, and is known as the 'door of the desert'. James Bond fans will also recognise a similarity between Noor 1 and some scenes from the new movie, Spectre.

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