Morocco has recruited foreign investors to fund a $9 billion solar power project, even though some European lenders have balked due to the location of some planned plants in the disputed Western Sahara.
Salaheddine Mezouar, Morocco’s foreign minister while declining to give details on the financing contracts with specific parties for the solar project said, “We have several (inves¬tors); there are Japanese, Chinese, Gulf countries”.
The solar project involves five plants, two of them planned in West¬ern Sahara, which would produce a total of 2,000 megawatts. The solar project is focused on building the first of the five plants.
“The other four plants will also happen. The goal is to achieve 2,000 MW, and we will continue with our plan,” the minister said.
Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power International won the $1 billion contract for the first solar plant,
which is scheduled to start operat¬ing next year in Ouarzazate with a capacity of 160 MW. It awarded the construction to a consortium of three Spanish companies – Sener, Acciona and TSK.
There is a lesson here for Nigeria. It’s high time it weans itself from over dependence on gas-fired power generating plants especially with the erratic gas supply being constantly experienced.
Recently, the Federal Ministry of Power and a private firm, Schnei¬der Electric partnered to provide solar power electricity to over 1000 households in Durumi, a suburb of Mpape in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in a project tagged ‘Light Up Nigeria’. While the initiative is com¬mendable, the government should move away from tokenism and embark on huge solar projects that can truly ensure that electricity is made available to Nigerians living.