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Tenesol, the global solar power provider, is bringing power to more than 163,000 people in Morocco for the first time
The company, in partnership with Morocco’s National Electricity Office (ONE), installed rural electrification systems at more than 26,000 homes in the country’s rural provinces. The 16 year project is scheduled to complete in 2018 at a cost of €25mn.
In Morocco, Tenesol operates under a subsidiary called Temasol which is supplying, installing and maintaining the PV systems. Established in 2002, Temasol is one of the largest electricity providers in Morocco. The company operates 14 offices in the country and employs more than 80 people.
In addition to this current project, Temasol also provides solar water pumping systems, solar generators for remote telecommunications infrastructure and grid connected PV systems across the country.
The 50 Wp, 75 Wp and 200 Wp rural electrification systems (depending on which Solar Home System the customer chose) consist of a PV panel connected to a battery. This allows households to store energy during the day and use it at night. Temasol also installed power sockets to offer easy connection for lighting, televisions, radios and refrigerators.
More than 1.6bn people in the world live without access to electricity, the vast majority of whom live in rural areas. Morocco’s rural provinces are home to around 45 per cent of the country’s population.
Modules on the move
Rural locations are often remote and isolated. Accessing such areas carrying PV panels, storage batteries and installation equipment can therefore prove tricky. In Morocco rain and snowfall, particularly during winter, can disrupt transport networks. Muddy road surfaces can also become treacherous and hard to negotiate.
For the Moroccan market Tenesol’s equipment is supplied from the company’s manufacturing plant in Cape Town, South Africa, and transported by sea. Once in Morocco, Temasol works closely with all available resources to transport the equipment to end-user homes across the country. Occasionally this means panels complete their journey by donkey, horse or on foot.
When it comes to installation, Temasol can draw on Tenesol’s 27 years of experience working in developing areas where houses are constructed from whatever materials are available. In Morocco wood, brick and metal are used, which means buildings vary in structural stability. Temasol engineers must evaluate each home and provide a suitable solution that will stand the test of time.
Train to maintain
Temasol also provides maintenance for 10 years to each individual installation to ensure all systems operate efficiently. This service began when the first installations were completed in 2002 and will continue until 2018 when responsibility for systems will pass to ONE.
“We are delighted to be involved in this life changing and highly rewarding project,” says Jacques Mathan, Export Sales Director at Tenesol.
“Rural electrification is a major part of a country’s socio-economic development and this project reflects Morocco’s commitment to assisting and improving rural communities. Many of the families we work with have never had access to electricity but solar energy is fast becoming the renewable answer to their power needs.”