Energy from the sun gets off the
ground: After a long delay, the tender for building
the Negev solar power plant will be published
Jan 3, 2008 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
- Dalia Tal Globes, Tel Aviv, Israel
The Ministries of Finance and National Infrastructures
will publish the BOT (build, operate, transfer) tender
for the Negev solar power plant at Ashelim, after
years of delay. This is Israel's first tender for
a solar powered plant. Many other countries already
have such power stations in operation or under construction.
The tender will be for the construction of two power
stations that will generate 250 megawatts altogether,
amounting to 2.5 percent of Israel's power production.
While this is only a marginal quantity, it is unquestionably
a step in the right direction towards renewable energy
production, and might also give Israel's solar power
industry a boost.
The project's cost is estimated at $300 million.
The bidders in the tender will compete for the lowest
price per kilowatt/hour to ask the state to pay. Currently,
the lowest price for solar energy is $0.12-0.15 per
kw/h, compared with $0.05-0.06 per kw/h generated
by fossil fuels.
The tender winner will not only win the right to
produce energy, but also rights to the 4,000-dunam
(1,000-acre) site, which will handed over at no cost.
Although the price is high, but if the savings in
air pollution and the potential for improving the
system are taken into account, the tender will ultimately
be a good deal for both the government and, most of
all, the environment.
The participating consortia will probably comprise
a financing company, a generator and turbine manufacturer,
and a solar receptor manufacturer, or some other composition.
Solel Solar Systems Ltd. is a global leader in the
manufacture of solar receptors, and it will probably
participate in one of the consortia. At this time,
the banking system does not know how to evaluate projects
of this kind, and there is concern that the manufacturers
and contractors may face financing difficulties.
Solel Solar CEO Avraham Brenmiller told "Globes"
that he welcomed the publication of the tender and
that Solel Solar would decided whether to bid in it
after reading the documents.
Minister of National Infrastructures Benjamin Ben-Eliezer
said that construction of the Ashelim solar power
station was another step by the ministry towards meeting
the government's target of generating 10 percent of
Israel's electricity production from renewable sources