Greentech Lead Middle East: Arava Power, a solar energy
group in Israel, has received a provisional licence to build a large solar
field in the Negev desert that will supply power to the Red Sea resort city of
Eilat, Israel. Arava will install a 40 megawatt solar system at Kibbutz Ketura,
50 km north of Eilat.
The $150 million project is expected to produce clean
energy equivalent to one third of the electricity consumption of Eilat during
daylight hours. The project is scheduled to complete in 2014.
Eilat, as a major Israeli tourist city, has higher energy
consumption in relation to its population compared with other urban areas. The
supply of electricity generated by Arava Power‘s large field will help
reduce the city’s reliance on expensive diesel generators.
“Increasing the price of energy and producing
electricity from diesel and heavy fuels is a terrible solution for the Israeli
public, especially since the government has a chance to develop clean, green
energy,” said Yosef Abramowitz, co-founder and president of Arava Power.
Israel has set a goal of having 10 percent of the energy
it consumes coming from renewable sources by 2020.
Last year, Arava, 40 percent owned by Siemens, unveiled a
$30 million, 4.95 megawatt plant at Ketura with a capacity of 400 MW that Arava
plans to build in the desert by the end of 2014.