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World’s largest solar farm to open in Morocco

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Staff writer ▼ | December 17, 2015
Morocco is set to bring online what is expected to be the world’s largest solar power facility this week.
Morocco solar power
Green energy   The Moroccan plant will generate power for 20 hours a day
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The power plant is designed to use the sun’s rays to melt salt, which will then be used to power steam turbines at night.

The initial phase of the plant is scheduled to generate power for three hours per night, and after that, the plant will generate power for 20 hours a day.

"Whether you are an engineer or not, any passer-by is simply stunned by it,” Paddy Padmanathan, of Saudi-owned plant operator ACWA Power, told BBC News. "You have 35 soccer fields of huge parabolic mirrors pointed to the sky which are moveable so they will track the sun throughout the day."

Located about 12 miles outside the Moroccan city of Ouarzazate, the plant has half a million U-shaped mirrors—or "parabolic troughs"—set in 800 rows slowly tracking the sun as it moves across the sky.

Construction of the plant, called Noor 1, was started at the behest of Morocco’s King Mohamed VI in 2013. The construction cost around $600 million and involved 1,000 workers.

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