A consortium comprising Spanish renewable energy company Abengoa and Israel’s Shikun and Binui is to build a thermo-solar power plant in Negev desert.
The NIS 4 billion ($1.05 billion) project coming up at Ashalim in southern Negev is close to another solar photovoltaic project. The government of Israel also plans to develop another solar photovoltaic project close by. The finance ministry of Israel has stated that it plans to publish a tender for the plant to help it meet its renewable energy goal.
Together, the three projects are expected to meet 2 percent of Israel’s total power requirement. The Mediterranean nation has set itself the target of meeting 10 percent of energy needs with clean energy by 2020.
Under the agreement, the consortium is required to build, operate and transfer the project to the Israeli government. The Negev desert projects are expected to come online in the first half of 2018.
The European Investment Bank and the US Overseas Private Investment Corp are financing the project.
According to one report, the existing photovoltaic project at Ashalim was to supply clean electricity to the Israel Electricity Corporation under a 25-year power purchase agreement signed in late 2013.
The plant is able to store thermal energy which can be utilized later to produce electricity whenever required after sunset. It will be the largest solar plant in Israel and will feature parabolic trough technology with a 4.5 hour thermal energy storage system using molten salts, the report added.
The project is expected to generate adequate clean energy to meet requirements of more than 69, 000 households.
According to Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa, Ashalim power plant forms part of Abengoa’s efforts towards constant innovation in the solar sector. It marks an important milestone for the internationalization of our activity, he added.
Ajith Kumar S