First in Morocco

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Morocco's first wind farm, a 50.4 MW plant of Vestas 600 kW turbines at Al Koudia Al Ba•da north of Tétouan, was inaugurated by King Mohammed IV on May 10, close to a year after construction began.

The plant was developed by La Compagnie Eolienne du Détroit, specifically set up to develop the project by French national utility Electricité de France, BNP-Paribas and Jean-Michel Germa, the owner of Cabinet Germa of France, an engineering consultancy and the lead contractor.

Together with Vestas, Cabinet Germa won the international tender for development of Al Koudia Al Ba•da. The project has been built for Office National de l'Electricité, the Moroccan utility, and will supply 2% of the country's electricity needs, or enough for 400,000 people, according to Cabinet Germa. Installation of the turbines, aligned on a high ridge and stretching for ten kilometres along a north-south axis, began a year ago. As the crow flies, it is not that far from the wind farms at Tarifa in southern Spain, just across the Straits of Gibraltar.

Commissioning is due in August. The turbines are sited in three distinct groups to allow for corridors through which migrating birds can pass.

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