Morocco’s ONEE (Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau potable) has partnered with renewable energy leaders Nareva and GE Renova for the green hydrogen project. Announced on Tuesday in a joint statement, this partnership aims to transition the 99-megawatt Laayoune power plant from fuel to green hydrogen.

The Laâyoune Power Plant is set to become Africa’s first to transition to green hydrogen. The project is integral to Morocco’s ambitious goal to increase its renewable energy capacity from 40% to 52% by 2030. This initiative will also position the nation at the forefront of the global shift toward sustainable energy.

The collaboration will involve comprehensive techno-economic evaluation studies. These studies are centered on converting the 99-megawatt Laâyoune Thermal Power Plant to hydrogen fuel. The conversion will initially focus on adapting the gas turbines to operate solely on hydrogen.

Based on official data, coal-fired power plants generated approximately 70% of Morocco’s electricity last year, while renewable energy sources accounted for 20% of the total production.

The green hydrogen project marks a milestone in Morocco’s efforts to decarbonize its power sector. It is set to be completed within two years.

“This first pilot project will help reduce carbon emissions of the plant and it will enable Morocco to move forward on the decarbonation of its power sector. This agreement serves as an important milestone in paving the way to accelerate the integration of hydrogen in the national energy mix, help the country become less reliant on conventional power, and reduce carbon emissions associated with power generation activities.” said Mr Abderrahim El HAFIDI, CEO of ONEE.

Aymane Taud, CEO of Nareva, echoed these sentiments, highlighting Nareva’s expertise in renewable power. He expressed excitement about exploring the synergy between renewable energy, hydrogen production, and efficient gas-fired combustion technologies.

GE Vernova brings to the table extensive experience in gas turbines. The company has a wealth of knowledge in wind turbines, solar energy, energy storage, and power conversion technologies.

These capabilities are crucial for developing the green hydrogen value chain. Joseph Anis, President & CEO for GE Vernova’s Gas Power highlighted the role of flexible gas turbines in complementing renewable energy sources and stabilizing the grid.

Image Source: FuelCellsWorks