The plant will be located 70 km from Agadir, Morocco. The estimated cost of construction of the plant is €284m and it is part of the country’s commitment to develop and integrate renewable energies into the grid.

The contract includes construction surveys, civil engineering works, supply of materials and pumping equipment, assembly, testing and commissioning.

Vinci will be responsible for the civil engineering work at the plant and it will include earthworks for two reservoirs, excavation for the powerhouse to be embedded in the slope, and installation of the penstock pipe over a distance of 3 km, including 1 km underground.

The electromechanical equipment for the project will be supplied by Andritz Hydro, which will supply two 175MW Francis turbines that have been specially developed at the company’s lab and a high voltage substation.

Construction of the project is estimated to take 48 month period and Vinci plans to hire 840 people, including 780 locals. 

The pumped-storage hydroelectric plant will work by storing water in an uphill tank, which will be released into a 3km transfer line (penstock and galleries) and will travel on a natural slope to a tank about 550m downhill. The hydroelectric plant will be built along the penstock between the two reservoirs.

When operating in turbine mode, the reversible plant will generate electricity and in pumping mode, it pump water from the lower to the upper reservoir. 

 According to Vinci, the system can be switched between pumping and turbine mode up to 20 times a day.

Image: Vinci Social Headquarters in Rueil-Malmaison, France. Photo: Courtesy of © Photothèque VINCI.