The Agreement for the Construction of the Photovoltaic Power Plant in the Ashalim Compound has been Signed

Steinitz: “This is another important step towards meeting the government goals of generating electricity from renewable sources and reducing dependency on fossil fuels”. Landau: “The results of the tender are a boon to the future of the solar energy sector in Israel and worldwide”.

The Energy and Water Resources Minister, Dr. Uzi Landau, the Accountant General, Michal Abadi-Boiangiu and her deputy, Gil Shabtai, today signed the concession agreement for the design, funding, construction and operation project of the 30 Megawatt Photovoltaic Power Plant in the Ashalim compound in the Western Negev with Ashalim Sun PV Ltd. Ashalim Sun PV was represented at the signing ceremony by Mr. Adam Howard and Mr. Tal Mond, joint CEOs of Sun Israel Clal.

Ashalim Sun PV, which consists of Sun Israel Clal, which is owned by Clal Sun, SunEdison Israel and SunEdison U.S.A., was declared the winner of the tender two months ago, after offering an actual price of 50.7 agorot per kWh, which was significantly lower than the standard prices for photovoltaic power generation.

The power plant, which is expected to start producing electricity during the first half of 2015, is planned to be one of the largest of its kind in the world. The plant will be added to two 110 Megawatt thermo-solar power plants that will be constructed nearby. Combined, the plants will supply approximately 2% of the total electricity production on the market, and will be a significant milestone toward meeting the government goal, according to which 10% of the total electricity on the market by 2020 will be generated from renewable sources.

The power plant will be built according to the BOT model, in which the franchisee is committed to design, construct and operate the plant for a total period of 27 years, after which ownership will be handed over to the State of Israel. According to the timelines set in the franchise agreement, Ashalim Sun PV has committed to reach a financial closure within 12 months of the signing, and to construct the plant within a maximum period of 28 months.

The Finance Minister, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, hailed the signing, and remarked that “This marks another important step towards meeting government goals for electricity production from renewable sources and reduction of the dependence on fossil fuels, along with the boosting the local solar industry.”

The Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Dr. Uzi Landau said that “The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources is working vigorously to achieve the vision that we outlined for the energy market – the greener the better, and wherever possible. The results of the tender are welcome news for the future of the solar sector in Israel and worldwide, in terms of cost as well as the scope of the solar farm, and it is possible that this tender will pave the way for more such tenders. The fact that today there is demand in the market for more and more quotas means we have succeeded. There is competition, and it will pay off first and foremost to the general public, who will be receiving low-cost green power.”

The Finance Ministry Accountant General, adv. and CPA Michal Abadi-Boiangiu, commented that “The attractive price that was achieved in the tender, for the first time puts solar energy costs very close to the average cost of conventional power production. The technological creativity and innovation of the private sector, combined with proper distribution of risk factors between the private and public sectors as is customary in projects modeled after BOT, enable minimizing project costs and yielding value for the general public in Israel.”

The Accountant General commended the fruitful cooperation between the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources and the Public Utility Authority – Electricity on the work of the Tender Committee, the fruits of which will advance Israel a further step towards efficient use of its natural resources for producing clean energy.

Sun Israel Clal CEO, Adam Howard, said: “We are proud and happy that Sun Israel Clal has been selected as the franchisee for establishing Israel’s largest solar energy project in Ashalim. The company has the most knowledge and experience needed to vigorously and successfully pursue this project for the good of Israel’s energy market and for the benefit of electricity consumers. This 30 Megawatt project will lead Israel into a new era in which electricity generation using clean alternative sources of energy will be possible at a cost similar to conventional electricity generation today, and will be helpful in the further development of the photovoltaic industry in Israel, in accordance with the global trend. Ashalim Project is an addition to our partner SunEdison Group’s global rich experience in establishing the world! ’s largest energy projects along short construction timelines, at fair pricing and with a great deal of success. These values are core to Sun Israel Clal’s mission, and we intend to promote their quick implementation in other important projects in Israel, and to contribute to the opening of a new and important horizon for energy and business.”

The Inter-Ministerial Tender Committee for the construction of the solar power plants in Ashalim consists of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources and the Public Utility Authority – Electricity, and is coordinated by the Inbal Corporation’s projects division. The Tender Committee is executing government resolution 3338 of March 27, 2008, ordering the construction of thermal and photovoltaic solar power plants in Ashalim in the Negev with a total installed capacity of 250 Megawatt.

For previous press releases and information regarding this tender please see:
Ashalim Sun PV Wins Tender for Planning, Financing and Building Photovoltaic Power Plant in Ashalim 
Four Groups Submit Bids in Tender for the Construction of the Photovoltaic Power Plant in Ashalim

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