First Solar-Hybrid Power Plant Opens in Israel

Aora Heliostats and Flower Tower Solar Hybrid System Photo

Image of Aora Solar Tower with Heliostats. Image via: Aora

Like something out of a sci-fi film, this solar flower (tower) is the first of its kind to combine concentrated solar power with a hybrid-microturbine to ensure production of power 24 hours a day without the need of a grid.

Installation of Aora Solar Tower Photo

Installation of Aora Solar Tower. Image via: Aora

The system is being installed in Kibbutz Samar in Israel and will go online in just a few days - June 24, 2009. Using more efficient solar reflectors, the system takes up a smaller area of land in the desert, as compared with similar systems and produces enough electricity to power 70 homes. Throughout the day, the 30 different heliostats track the sun and direct it to the top of a 30m tall tower, which concentrates the energy into solar thermal. The tower also houses a micro-turbine that can be run on solar thermal, as well as biodiesel, natural gas or biogas, particularly when the sun goes down.


Image of Aora Solar Tower with Technicians Working on the Heliostats. Image via: Aora

Since the system is a hybrid, and can run 24 hours a day, in theory similar systems could be setup in small communities to power a village off-grid without the need to connect into a national electric grid network. Currently Aora is looking to establish similar systems in other countries but no deals have been reached yet. The official unveiling of the system will be June 24, 2009 complete with media, dignitaries and curious onlookers. :Aora
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