One of Israel's largest private solar power projects is officially getting underway. Sources inform ''Globes'' that the Public Utilities Authority (Electricity) has approved the application of Arava Power Company for a license top build a five-megawatt photovoltaic power farm at an 80-dunam (20-acre) site at Kibbutz Ketura in the Negev. The project will cost NIS 100 million.
The Public Utilities Authority plenum approved the conditional license for Arava Power to produce electricity, and sent it to Minister of National Infrastructures Benjamin Ben-Eliezer.
The Ketura photovoltaic farm is the first project of its kind that will be linked to the electricity grid. Arava Power has signed cooperation agreements with 15 kibbutzim, including Ketura and Yotvata, that own land available sufficient for the production of up to 500 megawatts of electricity at photovoltaic farms. The company predicts that a total of over 20 kibbutzim will join the venture this year.
As "Globes" was the first to report, Arava Power is holding preliminary negotiations with US energy giant AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) to become a financial and strategic partner in its project.
Kibbutz Ketura owns 40% of Arava Power, and a group of US investors, led by company president Yosef Abramowitz, own the rest.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 7, 2009
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