Cycling, rapid-start steam turbines to support 510 MW solar plant

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With almost 365 days of sunshine, Ouarzazate in the Moroccan desert is the perfect place to harvest sunlight to produce clean renewable electricity.

When completed the Noor complex at Ouarzazate will be the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant. Its three blocks are expected to provide power to 1.1 million Moroccans.

Today, Noor 1 is already up and running with an installed capacity of 160 MW.  With half a million mirrors to capture and concentrate the sun’s energy, it covers the area of 4,200 soccer fields.


Mirrors focus the sun’s light to heat up a liquid (oil), which when mixed with water, reaches around 400 degrees Celsius. The steam produced from this process is then turned into electricity by three Siemens turbo generator sets. Each one comprises two steam turbines and one generator. The SST-700 and SST-900 steam turbines are built for high efficiency, reliability and uptime. The SST-700 can be used for daily cycling and ultra-rapid starts, as demanded by the solar thermal process.

The renewable power generated by Noor is essential to reach Morocco's goal of 42% renewable energy by 2020. Today, block 1 offsets 240,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, supplying reliable energy for homes and businesses.