Largest solar array in Israel hooked up to grid

Solar energy  picture: Eyal Yitzhar

The field at Kibbutz Ketura is jointly owned by Arava Power and EDF Énergies Nouvelles Israel.

The "Ketura Solar" field was connected on Wednesday to the national electric grid. It is one of the largest solar parks in Israel with a capacity of 40 MW, making it the largest to be currently part of the grid. The field is jointly owned by Arava Power and EDF Énergies Nouvelles Israel a subsidiary of the French national electric corporation.

The planning and development for the project began in 2009 until its financing was approved in 2013. The construction of the array lasted some seven months, during which 140,343 solar panels were installed over 542 dunams (134 acres) at a cost of more than 300 million shekels ($79 million).

EDF Israel CEO Ayalon Vaniche noted that the company was also close to completing work on another project: the Zmorot solar park. Vaniche added that over the upcoming year the firm will continue to promote projects in the wind power sector, a source of untapped economic benefits due to the country's geographic location and existing wind patterns.

Arava Power CEO Jonathan Cohen said that the latest connection to the national grid raises the contribution of the firm's projects to more than 100 MW.

The current production targets for renewable energy were set by a government decision in 2009. The government determined that 5% of electricity must be generated from renewable sources by 2014 and 10% by 2020. Currently, renewables generate only 2% of the country's annual energy consumption.

According to the International Energy Agency estimates, solar energy will produce 27% of all electricity by 2050, when it will become the primary energy source, partly due to the decrease in cost of photovoltaic solar panels.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 29, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

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Solar energy  picture: Eyal Yitzhar
Solar energy picture: Eyal Yitzhar
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