Israel's Massive Solar Field First of Many, 400MW Planned


Image credit: Reuters
Solar may or may not promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but it is causing some friction between rival solar companies. When I wrote abut the launch of a 5MW solar field in the deserts of Israel, Karin Kloosterman alerted us to efforts by a different solar company, SBY, to block the launch of Ketura Sun as rival companies battle for limited Government funding. Nevertheless, a report from Reuters on the launch of the first solar field, suggests that his is just the first of many. 50 more solar fields are planned, dependent on Government support. Reporting on the launch of the Ketura Sun solar field (embedding is sadly disabled on the video), Reuters inform us that the plant's owners—Arava Power—plan to build 50 more similar fields in the next 3 years—all constructed on land leased from kibbutzes and bedouin families:

Arava, which is 36 percent owned by German conglomerate Siemens, said it secured 80 percent of the funding for the Keturah plant from Bank Hapoalim, Israel's second-largest bank.

"Arava plans to build nearly 50 solar fields for well over 400 megawatts, an investment cost of roughly $2 billion," David Rosenblatt, the company's vice chairman, told Reuters.

While additional solar generating capacity has been OKed by the Infrastructure Ministry, the plans are currently on hold pending approval from the finance ministry. But, says Reuters, that approval looks like it should be a formality.

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