Solar power cable planned

An Algerian firm is planning to build a power cable to Germany to export electricity generated through solar panels located in the Sahara according to state-owned newspaper El Moudhaid.

An Algerian firm is planning to build a power cable to Germany to export electricity generated through solar panels located in the Sahara according to state-owned newspaper El Moudhaid.

Under the plans, a 3,000km cable would be laid from the Algerian town of Adrar to the German city of Aachen. The route passes across the Mediterranean through Sardinia, mainland Italy, Switzerland and Germany.

New Energy Algeria (NEAL) chief executive Tewfik Hasni reported that the project will be provisionally entitled 'Clean Power From The Desert'. It is planned to be carried out in partnership with a consortium of investors including Algerian state energy giant Sonatrach, a NEAL shareholder. The implementation of the project however is dependent on gaining final approval from the governments of both countries. The power for the project would initially be produced by hybrid solar-gas plants, with a long-term plan to provide solar-only power.

NEAL, in partnership with Spain's Abener Energia Spa, will construction of a 250 million euro (US$370 million) hybrid solar-gas plant at Hassi R'Mel in central M'Zab province in 2008, with a capacity of 150MW due to come onstream in late 2009. The plant will be the first of a series of combined-cycle hybrid plants that NEAL aims should have capacity of 500MW by 2010.

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