Thermo Solar Power Plant in Ashalim

Image: BrightSource Energy.

The Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Energy and Water Resources’ joint Inter-Ministerial Tender Committee for the construction of solar power plants in Ashalim, headed by Deputy Accountant General

Yariv Nechama, CPA, announced today that Megalim Solar Power Ltd has been chosen as the concessionaire for this Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) project for planning, financing, building and operating a thermo-solar technology based power plant in the Ashalim region of the western Negev, with a capacity of up to 121 MW.

The tender price was set by the Tender Committee, and stands at a real price of approximately 79 agorot per kWh. This is lower than the customary price around the world and in Israel for electricity generated using thermo-solar technology on a similar scale.

The main advantage of thermo-solar technology is its high reliability, which makes it a genuine substitute for conventional power plants that consume fossil fuel, unlike other technologies for generating electricity from renewable energy.

The power plant, which is planned to commence operation in the second half of 2017, is expected to be one of the biggest of its kind in the world. The plant will join another thermo-solar plant with a similar capacity and a photovoltaic plant with a capacity of 30 MW, which will be built adjacent to it in the Ashalim complex. Together, the plants will supply approximately 2% of the economy’s electricity production, and will constitute a significant milestone in meeting the government’s target whereby 10% of the electricity in the Israeli economy will be from renewable energy sources by the year 2020.

The power plant will be set up according to the BOT model, with the franchisee undertaking to plan, build and operate the plant for a total period of 28 years, at the end of which the facility will be transferred to State ownership. The Megalim Solar Power Consortium has undertaken to build the power plant within a period of 36 months at the most.

Mr. Shaul Tzemach, Director General of the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, said that “Winning the tender at this time can be seen as a vote of confidence in the Israeli economy, especially in Israel’s renewable energy sector, which, despite all the difficulties, continues to establish itself as competitive, efficient, and innovative at the global level. The Ministry of Energy and Water  Resources will continue to act with determination to meet the renewable energy targets set by the government.”

Accountant General at the Ministry of Finance, Michal Abadi-Boiangiu welcomed the win, and noted that “Construction of the thermo-solar power plant at Ashalim will constitute a big and important step toward realizing the government’s target for electricity production from renewable sources, while leveraging the private sector’s technological creativity and innovation, reflected in the BOT tenders promoted by the Accountant General’s Office.”

Source: Israel Ministry of Finance