3 Golan Heights wind energy projects approved

Wind turbines

Enlight's projects are designed to generate 400 megawatts of electricity annually.

Eurocom Group subsidiary Enlight Renewable Energy Solutions Ltd. (TASE:ENLT) has obtained provisional licenses from the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy, and Water Resources for three large projects for producing 400 megawatts of electricity from its wind-driven turbines.

The three projects are located in the Golan Heights in areas with strong winds: the Emek Habacha (Vale of Tears) Project, with a provisional license to produce 102 megawatts; the Emek Haruchot (Valley of Winds) Project, with a provisional license to produce 169 megawatts; and the Ruach Bereshit (Wind of God) Project, with a provisional license to produce 130 megawatts. The Public Utilities Authority (Electricity) provisionally approved the licenses in 2014, subject to approval by the Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy, and Water Resources.

The Vale of Tears project is in the advanced development stages, and the company believes that completion of the regulatory and planning requirements for its construction is likely in 2015. The project is slated to include 34 wind turbines, and to generate NIS 110 million in electricity proceeds annually for 20 years. The construction cost for the licensed power production is estimated at NIS 860 million, and the company has already signed a letter of terms with Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) to finance the enterprise under a project finance format.

The Valley of Winds and Wind of God projects are in the development stages, and their materialization and cost are still uncertain. Valley of Winds is located in the northern Golan Heights, while Wind of God is located in the area of Mt. Peres in the central Golan Heights. The company estimates that every megawatt installed will yield NIS 1 million in electricity proceeds annually for 20 years.

The three projects are located on land of 12 communities in the northern and central Golan Heights under a master plan for integrating renewable energy being promoted by the Golan Heights Regional Council in cooperation with the Golan Economic Development Corporation. At full capacity, the projects can supply environmentally friendly electricity to over 150,000 households in Israel, thereby reducing air pollution in Israel by 800,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, according to figures from the Ministry of Environmental Projection. The environmental contribution of the projects is equivalent to taking over 200,000 cars off the road a year.

Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy, and Water Resource Silvan Shalom said, "Provision approval of the licenses for the wind farms encourages development of wind energy in Israel, which will bring us one more step closer to achieving the government's targets for producing electricity from renewable energy."

Enlight CEO Gilad Yavetz said today, "These projects are of national importance. Their size constitutes a major step forward in the production of electricity from renewable energy in Israel, and they will make a significant contribution to meeting the government targets for promoting Israel's international status in the field. For us, the minister's approval of the licenses is a major milestone in the process of developing the projects, and another indication of the quality of the projects being accumulated by the company, which are an extremely substantial growth engine. The company is continuing to consolidate its status as a leading developer in wind energy, both in Israel and overseas."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 15, 2015

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

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