Israel's expanding solar energy market is attracting international companies. Sources inform ''Globes'' that US solar energy company SunEdison LLC has made its first venture into the Israeli market, setting up a subsidiary, SunEdison Israel Ltd. which will build solar energy projects and make investments in the industry.
The venture will focus on building small and mid-sized photovoltaic installations for the household and business sectors. It will also participate in tenders for the construction of solar power plants in the Negev.
SunEdison Israel recently secured financing in the capital market for solar energy projects. Capital market sources estimate the initial financing at $15-20 million.
The sources added that Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) is in talks to invest in SunEdison Israel through wholly-owned subsidiary Poalim Capital Markets - Investment Bank Ltd. The bank's involvement in the venture worries some other solar energy companies because it is supposed to be a major source of funding for solar power plants in the country. Poalim Capital Markets will reportedly own 15% of SunEdison Israel.
SunEdison, founded in 2003, is the largest solar energy company in North America, and a leading player in the global market. The company operates in Europe through subsidiaries in Germany, Italy, France, and Spain.
SunEdison planned to enter the Israeli market in late 2008, but the economic crisis delayed plans. The company is considering collaborating in the construction of solar power plants in the south. It held preliminary talks to invest in Arava Power Company, owned by president Yosef Abramowitz and Kibbutz Ketura. Arava Power has power supply contracts with more than 20 kibbutzim and moshavim. No deal was reached because of the effect of the economic crisis on the US.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 22, 2009
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