The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, has agreed to a $20 million equity investment in Morocco’s ACWA Power, media reported on Wednesday. The ACWA Power has developed the 160 MW NOOR 1 concentrated solar power parabolic trough plant with three-hour storage near Morocco’s Ouarzazate. The investment will help support the development of Morocco’s solar power industry, part of an effort to combat climate change and bolster the country’s supply of electricity, ACWA Power said in a press release.
NOOR 1 is part of NOOR Solar Complex, which will be the world’s largest CSP complex once complete. NOOR Solar Complex will provide power to more than one million people, while preventing the release of 300,000 tonnes of greenhouse gasses annually. “The world is already experiencing the effects of climate change and renewable energy is vital in the push to scale back the effects of global warming,” said Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO, ACWA Power. “NOOR serves as the perfect example to the international community that emerging economies like Morocco — which is setting the example to the rest of the world — can power an ambitious vision for renewable energy, and create a greener and more sustainable future for its people.”
“The IFC is a natural partner for this iconic project and we are delighted to have them on board. Together, we will continue to foster social and economic development in Ouarzazate by providing the local population with critical infrastructure, job creation and skills training.” IFC is providing the funds to ACWA Power both from its own account and via IFC Global Environment Facility/Earth Fund, an initiative designed to support innovative public-private partnerships. IFC’s financing for the NOOR 1 project is part of a broader effort by the institution to combat climate change and support economic development in the Middle East and north Africa.
During the 2016 fiscal year, which ended on June 30, IFC committed $1.3 billion to the region, helping to support wind farms, solar power plants, and investments in energy efficiency, among other things. The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.