BrightSource nails Israel finance

A 121MW concentrated solar power project in Israel, backed by US-based BrightSource Energy and Alstom, has reached financial close, according to the Israeli government.

The NIS 2.8bn ($820m) project, to be based on BrightSource’s power-tower CSP technology, is on track for a late 2017 commissioning, Israel’s Finance Ministry says.

It is not clear, however, how exactly the project is being financed.

Several months ago it emerged that the US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation had approved a $250m construction loan for the second CSP project progressing in Israel’s Negev Desert – that one backed by Spain’s Abengoa.

Neither California-based BrightSource nor France's Alstom publicly announced the funding, and neither immediately responded to requests for additional detail.

Both BrightSource's and Abengoa's Israel CSP projects were won via tenders in late 2012 on a build, operate, transfer (BOT) basis – with the Israeli government to assume ownership after 28 years.

The Israel project is important for BrightSource, whose US pipeline has all but dried up after the recent successful and high-profile commissioning of its 392MW Ivanpah project in California’s Mojave Desert.