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Sahara Wind launches Africaĺs first wind-hydrogen storage system PDF Print E-mail
Al Akhawayn University Wind-Electrolysis System Africa’s first renewable wind energy hydrogen storage system was commissioned at Al Akhawayn University, one of Morocco’s leading universities. A wind farm of three wind turbines were connected to an Alkaline electrolyzer with storage tanks and a fuel cell to help stabilize and store excess wind energy in the form of gaseous hydrogen. Wind intermittency issues can be resolved in enabling excess production to be used in a variety of ways. These range from powering telecommunications networks to green mobility, water utilities and mine processing industries. Coordinated by Sahara Wind as part of its regional capacity building program, this project opens the possibility for the gradual introduction of renewable energy technologies within the region’s main industries. In facilitating the deployment of renewable energies on a larger scale, the Sahara Wind Project enables the transition into a safer, more sustainable energy infrastructure on the African continent. The Sahara Wind Project aims at delivering over 5 GW of wind generated electricity from the North Atlantic Trade Winds to supply North African and Euro-Mediterranean markets via a High Voltage Direct Current transmission line.

Electrolyzer room at Al Akhawayn UniversityWithin such context, the Sahara Wind Project presents a market based, locally integrated economic development model that is of strategic importance to the region. Carried out through regional academic-industry collaborative partnerships, the integration of the North Atlantic Sahara Trade Winds blowing from Morocco through Mauritania are supported by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization under its Science for Peace and Security Frameworks. Within the aforementioned framework, wind measurements and energy intensive synergetic processes are currently being tested at Morocco and Mauritania’s Universities in partnership with local industries.

Complementary to Morocco’s integrated Wind Energy Program launched in 2010, the technical terms of references for assessing the optimal transfer of the Sahara Wind farm network on the basis of a 5 GW HVDC line - have been established with ONEE, the Moroccan public electric and water utility company operating the local grid infrastructures.

In responding to the region’s priorities the Sahara Wind Project provides broad sustainable development perspectives that address global challenges such as access to energy, endogenous development and security for this area and beyond.

 
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