Morocco: Solar Village Gets Solar Powered School

  • Morocco has inaugurated a solar-powered school in Africa’s first solar village, the Id Mjahdi solar village pilot project.
  • The project is located in the Essaouira region in north-western region of the country.
  • The opening of this school marks a new stage in the development of the solar village.

The Id Mjahdi Educational Centre is small, consisting of two classrooms, a sports field and a playground. It is dedicated to promoting pre-school education for children aged 4 to 5 in the village and neighbouring areas.

The village complex, which has all of its infrastructure powered by solar energy, is a first, not only for the kingdom, but also for the rest of the continent. The houses are powered by solar PV power plants with battery storage. There is also a solar mini-grid to meet the needs of the common areas.

The project is financed by a collective sponsorship deployed by Le Petit Olivier, Intermarché and the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Research and Protection of the Argan Tree, the Province of Essaouira, the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen) through the company “Cleanergy”, the municipality of Ounagha, and companies operating in the solar, fair trade and sustainable development sectors.

The project also aims to collectively fight, through the creation of a mini electricity grid, against the chore of water for the village’s young girls, to contribute to the population’s education and awareness of solar energy, to ensure the village’s independence in electricity, as well as the training and development of local Moroccan skills in the photovoltaic installations sector.

Morocco is part of a regional expansion in renewables, with plans to generate 52 percent of electricity from solar, wind and hydropower by 2030 from 34 percent currently. The nation is also starting construction this year on 850 megawatts of wind power. Morocco plans to add 6 gigawatts of installed renewables capacity including solar, wind and hydropower between 2018 and 2030.

The country recently announced a 108MW hydro project plus a combined 230MW CSP, solar PV and battery storage tender.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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