Morocco’s King Mohammed VI this week switched on the first phase of a concentrated solar power plant that will become the world’s largest when completed.
Munich Re and London market energy insurer GCube were appointed by Saudi Arabian power company ACWA Power to provide insurance and risk management services for Noor 1, the 160 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) project, when it was announced three years ago.
Munich Re and GCube jointly lead the Marsh-designed integrated policy, which covers the 28-month construction period but also 12 months of commercial operation after completion. Together they will provide 50% of the risk capacity.
The power station, in the city of Ouarzazate, on the edge of the Saharan desert, will provide electricity for 1.1m people by the time it is finished in 2018.
Noor 1, the first section, provides 160MW of the ultimate 580MW capacity.
It is estimated that the plant will reduce the country’s energy dependence by about 2.5m tons of oil, while also lowering carbon emissions by 760,000 tons per year.
Concentrated solar power is such a promising technology that the International Energy Agency estimates that up to 11% of the world’s electricity generation in 2050 could come from CSP.
Concessional and public financing were key to getting the project off the ground.
The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy secured over $3bn from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), European financing institutions and the World Bank.