Israel starts-up 10MW PV plant

Israel’s energy minister Silvan Shalom has taken part in inaugurating the start of commercial operations at the country’s largest solar plant, developed by SunPower in the northern Negev region.

Shalom says the development of renewables will diversify supply sources, and boost security and availability in the Israeli electricity market.

With an installed capacity of 10MW, the PV facility will be able to generate about 22 million kW of clean energy per year. The project, which covers some 25 hectares, is expected to provide power equivalent to the needs of about 3,000 households, according to SunPower.

“The project, which required an investment of around NIS150m ($42m), took about seven months to construct,” SunPower Israel chief executive Uri Zarur tells The Jerusalem Post.

“The potential of solar energy in Israel is still far from realised,” Zarur says. “It is very important that during next year there will be a continuity in orders to enable the ongoing investment in the industry, so as to attract international investors to Israel to establish a real long-term industry.”