The 121 MW Ashalim Plot-B solar-thermal project is expected to supply 320 GWh of electricity annually into Israel’s grid when it is completed in 2017. The project costs are in excess of 3 billion ILS, with 80% of the funding provided by an Israeli banking syndicate led by Bank Hapoalim and by the European Investment Bank.
The Ashalim Plot B power facility is part of the Ashalim solar complex, which includes two solar-thermal projects (Ashalim Plot B and one other) and one photovoltaic projects. In total, these facilities at Ashalim are expected to produce nearly 300 MW of power, about 2% of Israel’s electricity production capacity. They will support the country’s commitment to reach 10% of the country’s electricity production from renewable sources by 2020.
Megalim’s Ashalim Plot B plant is being constructed by a consortium under the leadership of Alstom, a French-based global leader in power generation, and will operate with BrightSource’s innovative solar tower technology, developed to be a source of stable, reliable and responsible renewable energy, in comparison to other renewable energy sources available in the market. Distinguishing characteristics of the facility include the 240-meter solar tower standing at the center of a 3.15 square kilometer field covered by over 50,000 sun-tracking heliostats with a cumulative surface area of over 1 million square meters.
Beyond the clean energy objectives, the Ashalim Plot B facility will also satisfy the State’s declared objective of bringing economic activity to the Negev region, employing over 1,000 engineers, technicians, construction workers and support services. During the 25 years of planned operation Megalim, through its Operations & Maintenance Contractor, will permanently employ 45 skilled staff members.
Quotes from the recent ground breaking celebration.
Israel Kroizer, Executive Vice President of Engineering and Operations for BrightSource Energy:
This is a unique and important project from a technological and other perspectives. From 2018 onwards, Megalim and the Ashalim Plot B project will deliver a real contribution to the Israel’s diversitfication and de-carbonization of its energy sector. The Megalim solar plant borrows heavily from, and further enhances the technology which we built and which is proving itself daily in California’s Ivanpah Solar-Thermal Electricity Generating System. In short, Ashalim represents a giant leap into the future along BrightSource’s technological path.
Patrick Kron, Chairman & CEO of Alstom:
This project illustrates Alstom’s commitment to contribute to achieve a sophisticated, environmentally-friendly and efficient infrastructure that forms the backbone of the State of Israel’s dynamic economy and culture. The Group’s involvement in Israel already includes the Tzafit combined-cycle gas turbine facility, the Gilboa and Kochav HaYarden Pump Storage Hydro plants and the Jerusalem Light Rail system. Alstom and Israel benefit in equal measure from our deep and long-standing partnership to develop and supply state-of-the-art infrastructure solutions to answer the world’s economic and environmental challenges. Solar-thermal power, in cooperation with the industry leader BrightSource Energy, is a natural extension of Alstom’s Renewable Power portfolio.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.