Israel inaugurates vast Negev thermo-solar power plant

Israel inaugurates vast Negev thermo-solar power plant

The largest renewable energy project in Israel – a vast thermo-solar power plant near Ashalim in the Negev – was inaugurated on Thursday at a ceremony attended by Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz and senior government and business officials, reports Trend referring to Reuters.

Spanning approximately 390 hectares – larger than the central city of Givatayim – the 121-megawatt solar power facility will supply electricity to approximately 70,000 households in Israel, or approximately 0.75% of all electricity generated in Israel.

The $1.13 billion plant, a public-private partnership (PPP), was constructed by Negev Energy, a special purpose company held by Shikun & Binui Renewable Energy, Israeli investment fund Noy Fund and Spanish engineering group TSK. The Noy Fund and TSK joined the project in April 2016, after Spanish company Abengoa, a former project partner, went bankrupt.

“If our main purpose in the past was to supply energy for the people in Israel, the Israeli economy and industry, and public health was maybe secondary, we have changed our perspective,” said Steinitz. “The main goal now is to supply energy but also to make it clean and to make sure that we will reduce rather than increase air pollution.”

The power plant, Steinitz said, will contribute significantly to Israel’s target of making 10% of the country’s electricity supply renewable by 2020, and 17% by 2030. At full capacity, the plant will reduce approximately 245,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel sources, equivalent to taking 50,000 vehicles off the road.

“We’re going to meet our target next year, but we are already considering increasing the goal for 2030 and increase the volume of renewables,” Steinitz said. “This is under examination by the Electricity Authority. In the near future, we will terminate the use of coal and other polluting fuels in Israel altogether, and close the coal turbines in Hadera and later on in Ashkelon. It will be only natural gas and renewables, mainly solar systems.”

Unlike nearby photovoltaic (PV) power plants, which directly convert sunlight into electricity, the thermo-solar power plant near Ashalim absorbs solar energy through over 450,000 rotating parabolic mirrors, forming long troughs and collector loops. Synthetic oil inside the loops is heated to 390°C, and by using heat exchangers, thermal energy is mixed with water to power steam turbines and produce electricity.

The power plant is the only facility in Israel that is also able to produce energy overnight. Home to one of the largest molten salt storage systems worldwide, the plant can provide an additional 4.5 hours of full capacity clean energy after sunset or during inclement weather.

The expansive facility sits alongside two additional PV solar plants, with the three projects near Ashalim boasting a combined capacity of 250 megawatts of energy. The neighboring 121-megawatt Megalim Solar Power plant, constructed by General Electric, features the world’s tallest concentrating solar power (CSP) tower.

“When our parents arrived in Israel there was no milk and honey, there was just desert and swampland,” said Naty Saidoff, controlling stakeholder of Shikun & Binui. “We dried the swamps, and now we took something that was arid and dry and turned it into a resource. Israel turned the saltwater into water, and the curse of the sun into a blessing. People turning on their air conditioning in Tel Aviv have the power to cool themselves from the desert sun.”

Negev Energy, commissioned by Israel on a 28-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) concession contract, will allow the company to operate the solar plant for 25 years following the commencement of operations. All electricity generated by the plant will be sold to the Israel Electric Corporation.

Construction and operation of the facility required the employment of hundreds of local employees, including many from nearby Bedouin communities in the Ramat Negev Regional Council. Over 50% of construction employees were from southern regions in Israel.

“A regular construction project requires dozens of permits, but here thousands of permits were required,” said Eran Doron, mayor of the Ramat Negev Regional Council. “For us, it was a huge challenge, but we did it joyfully as we knew we are part of something much bigger, part of this important vision of making Israel greener and cleaner.”

Tourists from Israel may be among first visitors to Georgia
Tourists from Israel may be among first visitors to Georgia
Israel-Georgia Chamber of Business boosting cooperation with Israeli LAHAV
Israel-Georgia Chamber of Business boosting cooperation with Israeli LAHAV
Israeli missile hits test target 400 kilometers away
Israeli missile hits test target 400 kilometers away
Loading Bars
Latest
WHO reports single-day increase in coronavirus cases by over 128,000
Hungary, Germany to lift travel restrictions to each other's citizens
Mexico restates commitment to April accord after OPEC+ talks
Afghan gun battle kills 9 militants in eastern Kunar province
Azerbaijan supports extension of OPEC+ deal
OPEC agrees to further extend production cuts
Hundreds of Lebanese join anti-government protests as lockdown eased
Bolsonaro threatens to withdraw Brazil from WHO
Iraq renews its commitment to OPEC+ deal
UK coronavirus death toll rises by 204 to 40,465
Azerbaijan confirms 379 new COVID-19 cases
OPEC, Russia to extend record oil cuts to end of July
Volume of issued mortgage loans increases in Azerbaijan
Deposit liabilities of Georgia's banking system decrease
Uzbekistan, China may set up joint venture for bearing production
Pros and cons of Iran’s new car presale lottery plan
Azerbaijani Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves grow
What to expect from OPEC+ meeting today
Georgia makes changes to Produce in Georgia program
Uzbekistan exports wild cherry to China
Uzbekistan introduces recycling fees for cars
Prices for Iran's petrochemical products down
Iran to supply support packages to population until COVID-19 is curbed
Tires, special vehicles manufacturing launch underway in Kazakhstan's Karaganda
Georgia's Medifari company plans to export facemasks to Israel, Russia, Belgium
Azerbaijan's Pasha Capital - leader in volume of operations on Baku Stock Exchange
Kazakhstan to manufacture petrocemical products from coal
EBRD, TBC Bank implement two mega-center projects in Georgia
Azerbaijani oil prices show mixed change
DHL resumes its operations in Turkmenistan
Azerbajan expanding broadband internet in regions
Turkmenistan to lock deals with foreign companies to buy pest control chemicals
China opens new transport corridor to Uzbekistan
Weekly review of Azerbaijan's precious metals market (May 29-June 5)
Georgia reduces electricity consumption during coronavirus
Pomegranate crop in Azerbaijan surpasses last year's yield
Oversized goods transportation launched to Kazakhstan's Karachaganak
Construction materials export from Uzbek Samarkand region increase
Georgia, Romania eye to boost cooperation opportunities in Black Sea region
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Baku Higher Oil School to hold online I International Scientific Conferences of Students and Young Researchers
Philippines confirms 7 new coronavirus deaths, 714 more cases
Romania, Georgia work on resuming Constanta - Poti / Batumi ferry connection
Corporate securities transactions rise in Azerbaijan
Wheat harvest kicks off in some regions of Turkmenistan
Georgian municipality predicts potato harvest for this season
How COVID-19 impacts Georgian fuel market?
Kazakhstan's uranium processing venture to buy equipment spare pars via tender
Coronavirus cases up in Georgia
Turkmenistan, Russia set measures to boost co-op in construction sector
Data on petroleum, chemical products manufacturing in Azerbaijan disclosed
China reports three new COVID-19 cases, two asymptomatic cases
Minister: Germany supports Georgia in economic development
Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 407 to 183,678
Turkmenistan, France discuss trade, economic cooperation
Capex on offshore wind to surpass upstream spending in Europe in 2022
Kazakhstan’s Atyrau refinery opens tender for radio system modernization
Turkey's export to OIC member states shrinks
Transactions on public securities on Azerbaijan's primary market down
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 24 times
Iran's historical cities suffer from lack of foreign tourists, thanks to COVID-19
Georgia's engineering firm Kaya offers additional services
Iranian trucks with goods enter Turkey, following months of closure
Iran plans to transfer gas from Kish field to feed South Pars refinery
Georgia expects rich hazelnut harvest
Thailand reports two new coronavirus cases, no new deaths
Iran to create holdings to control rental houses, apartments
FAO, Azerbaijan to develop new program
Kyrgyzstan reports 38 new COVID - 19 cases, 1974 in total
6.2-magnitude quake hits Kazakhstan -- local department
Bolsonaro threatens to withdraw Brazil from WHO
Small plane crash in U.S. state of Georgia kills 5
S. Korea reports 51 new virus cases, most in 8 days
Chinese mainland reports no new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases
Chile reports 122,499 COVID-19 cases with 1,448 deaths
Head of Al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb killed in Mali by French forces: minister
Street near White House renamed ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’ — mayor
58 more coronavirus patients die in Moscow in past day — crisis center
Some 41,500 National Guard officers on duty in US amid protests
WHO recommends wider use of face masks to curb COVID-19
Facebook says it found no foreign interference targeting U.S. protests
Trudeau takes a knee at anti-racism protest on Parliament Hill
Trump orders 9,500 US troops to leave Germany
Finland's finance minister steps down over training payments
5.2-magnitude quake jolts eastern Turkey
EU countries agree on coordinated, non-discriminatory lifting of travel ban
Turkey: Daily coronavirus recoveries up with over 1,600
UK COVID-19 deaths top 40,000 as another 357 patients die
ADB eyeing agreement signing on road reconstruction in Kazakhstan
Azerbaijan discloses number of coronavirus tests
Italy's COVID-19 death toll up 85 to 33,774
Tourists from Israel may be among first visitors to Georgia
Agent bank of two more liquidated banks chosen in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan plans to increase Virginia tobacco production
Central Bank of Iran seeks to unfreeze foreign currency sources abroad
Azerbaijan Wine Producers & Exporters Association eyes new markets for export
Kazakhstan's Shymkent to oversee implementation of various agro-industrial projects
Azerbaijan’s Technol plant talks about production plans
Georgia begins construction of Namakhvani HPP cascade
Azerbaijan’s Elektrogas company testing latest models of heating equipment
All news