Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

World's Fifth Largest Solar Plant Coming to Israel

Business

A U.S. solar company and French utility will begin construction early next year on what will be the world's fifth largest solar plant in Israel.

The 121 megawatt (MW) Ashalim power plant will be located in the Negev desert, just south of the city of Be’er Sheva, according to ISRAEL21c. The $1.1 billion solar thermal plant will have the capacity to power about 40,000 homes when it is completed in 2016.

BrightSource's Ivanpah solar project in California. BrightSource announced plans this week to construct the world's fifth-largest plant in Israel. Photo credit: BrightSource

The new solar station is being developed by Megalim Solar Power, a joint venture between Oakland, CA-based solar firm BrightSource Energy and Alstom, a French power and transit company.

BrightSource's roots can be traced back to Israel, where the company began decades ago as Luz power company. Today, 300 of the company's employees work in Jerusalem as engineers and development staff members.

"The government gave us a very good structure and we appreciate it very much," BrightSource Israel CEO Israel Kroizer said. "The way we will run this project is as though it will be the crown jewel of all our projects. Yes, even over our project in California."

For the past three years, BrightSource has also been constructing Ivanpah—a 377 MW plant in California's Mojave desert that is the world's largest solar plant under construction. NRG Solar and Google are listed with BrightSource as investors.

Instead of using photovoltaic panels to convert the sun’s power into electricity directly, the solar thermal project in Israel will focus sunrays from hundreds of mirrors to a collection tower. The solar heat boils water to create steam to power turbines.

It's a more expensive strategy that Kroizer argues is worth it.

“With PV, you get energy when the sun is ‘on,'" he said. "When the sun is ‘off,’ you don’t have energy. The difference in the cost is basically compensating for this value of more stability in the grid, which is what the grid needs.”

Israel officials want 5 percent of the nation's power to come from renewable sources by 2014 and 10 percent by 2020, according to the Renewable Energy Association of Israel.

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Charli Shield

At unsettling times like the coronavirus outbreak, it might feel like things are very much out of your control. Most routines have been thrown into disarray and the future, as far as the experts tell us, is far from certain.

Read More Show Less
Pie Ranch in San Mateo, California, is a highly diverse farm that has both organic and food justice certification. Katie Greaney

By Elizabeth Henderson

Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced:

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A woman walks to her train in Grand Central Terminal as New York City attempts to slow down the spread of coronavirus through social distancing on March 27. John Lamparski / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

A council representing more than 800,000 doctors across the U.S. signed a letter Friday imploring President Donald Trump to reverse his call for businesses to reopen by April 12, warning that the president's flouting of the guidance of public health experts could jeopardize the health of millions of Americans and throw hospitals into even more chaos as they fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
polaristest / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

Over six gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of wine. "Irrigation, sprays, and frost protection all [used in winemaking] require a lot of water," explained winemaker and sommelier Keith Wallace, who's also a professor and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, the largest independent wine school in the U.S. And water waste is just the start of the climate-ruining inefficiencies commonplace in the wine industry. Sustainably speaking, climate change could be problematic for your favorite glass of wine.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Spinach is a true nutritional powerhouse, as it's rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Read More Show Less