With over 300 days of sunshine per year, Ain Beni Mathar in Morocco, near the border with Algeria, was the perfect site to build a thermal and solar hybrid plant.
The first of its kind in Africa, Ain Beni Mathar is a real opportunity for Morocco to explore alternative sources.
The country suffers greatly from its energy dependence, importing 97% of its coal and oil energy needs.
The National Office of Energy and the African Development Bank have opened the doors of the plant to euronews. On a guided tour, the company’s Chief Operating Officer Nour Eddine Fetian told us: “The principle is that the plant consists of two lines, two gas turbines, two heat recovery steam generators, one steam turbine and lines for production and energy discharge. So steam is produced by two sources: there is natural gas, under the normal combined cycle, and the steam produced by the solar field. Both vapours converge towards the steam turbine and are integrated at the same time to produce electric power.
The total output of the power plant is 472 megawatts, 20MW of which is solar, allowing it to satisfy about 10% of the country’s energy demand. Ain Beni Mathar is supplied with natural gas by the Maghreb / Europe pipeline.
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