Israel to Set Up Feed-in Tariff, European Bank to Invest €100M in Israeli CSP Plant

Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructure (MNI) has authorized the ministry’s new policy that will set up a feed-in tariff for residential and industrial solar photovoltaic installations of up to 50 kilowatts (kW) in size. This is part of a policy memorandum that will integrate Renewable energy into Israel’s energy production.

A feed-in-tariff will be set by the Israeli Public Utilities Authority, and energy companies are holding hands, hoping the process will be quick. It has been published in the past that the tariff prior to hearings will be 1.61 NIS (€0.31).

According to the authorized quotas, in the periphery of Israel (including the Arava and Negev regions) industrial installations up to 50 kW, installations of residential arrays (up to 4 kW) will be uncapped until December 2014.

A special 30-megawatt (MW) quota has been reserves for public buildings roofs, with an emphasis on educational institutions. Industrial installations (15-50 kW) that are not to be installed in the periphery or on public buildings roofs are capped to 50 MW.

At the Eilat-Eilot International Renewable Energy Conference being held in Israel this week,  Dr. Uzi Landau, Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructures, announced that the European Investment Bank will double its initial €50 Million investment in the Ashalim Renewable Energy Power Plant to €100 Million.

The Ashalim plant is slated to be built in Israel’s Western Negev desert over the next few years and will consist of 2 solar thermal power stations, each with a capacity of about 120 MW, with a maximum installed capacity of about 250 MW. The estimated cost of the project is US $750 million.

The project will also include a photovoltaic power plant with an approximate installed capacity of 15 MW with a provision to expand it by a further 15 MW to bring it up to a possible 30 MW PV power plant.

The Ashalim project will go to tender at the end of April 2010 and will be up and running by the end of 2014.

“One of the goals of the National Infrastructures Ministry is to provide every Israeli home with access to power produced from renewable energy sources,” Dr. Landau said at the opening session of the conference. “The Ashalim power plant is a major part of our vision to transform the Israeli “red-roof” dream into a “green-roof” reality. More importantly, with the construction of the Ashalim plant, we are moving from simply talking about our renewable energy potential to actualizing our vision.”

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