The inter-ministerial tender committee for the construction of solar power plants at Ashalim, headed by Senior Deputy Accountant General Yariv Nechama, CPA, announced today that Negev Energy, a joint company of Shikun & Binui Renewable Energy and a subsidiary of the Spanish company Abengoa SA, has been chosen as the concessionaire in the BOT project for the design, financing, construction and operation of a solar thermal power plant with a capacity of up to 121 MW on Plot A in the Ashalim area of the western Negev.
The tender price was set by the tender committee at a real price of 76 agorot per kWh. This is lower than the customary price around the world and in Israel for electricity generated by solar thermal power plants on a similar scale.
The power plant, which will run on the parabolic trough technology, is planned to include a heat storage unit sufficient for up to four and a half hours of operation, which will significantly strengthen the plant’s reliability and ability to serve as a genuine substitute for conventional power plants that consume fossil fuels. The heat storage capacity will enable the utilization of solar power also during peak hours of energy demand in the winter.
The plant, which is due to start operating in the second half of 2017, will be among the largest of its kind in the world. It will join another solar thermal plant with a similar capacity and a photovoltaic plant with a capacity of 30 MW which are to be built close by in the Ashalim complex. Together, these plants will provide approximately 2% of Israel’s electricity production, a major milestone in meeting the government target of generating 10% of electric power in the Israeli economy from renewable energy sources by 2020.
The power plant will be set up according to the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model, with the concessionaire undertaking to design, build and operate the plant for a total period of 28 years, at the end of which the plant will be transferred to State ownership. The Negev Energy Group has undertaken to set up the power plant within 36 months at the most.
Minister of Energy and Water Silvan Shalom said: “I welcome the award of the Ashalim Plot A solar thermal tender. This is a highly important project in the field of renewable energies that will significantly increase electricity production from solar energy in Israel. We will continue our energetic efforts to develop the field of renewable energies.”
The Accountant General in the Ministry of Finance, Michal Abadi-Boiangiu, noted that “This is further proof of the effectiveness of the tender method as a means for setting up technologically complex infrastructure facilities and developing Israel’s industry – in this instance, in the energy sector – and for reducing Israel’s dependence on external energy sources.”
The inter-ministerial tender committee for the construction of solar power plants, headed by Senior Deputy Accountant General Yariv Nechama, CPA, consists of representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Energy and Water and the Public Utilities Authority (Electricity) and is coordinated by the Inbal Company’s Division of Public-Private Partnership Projects. The tender committee has been implementing Government Resolution 3338 from March 27, 2008, which calls for setting up solar power plants based on solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies in the Ashalim complex in the Negev.