Solar energy developer Arava Power Company will today inaugurate six solar fields in the Arava and Negev, generating 36 megawatts of electricity altogether. The six solar fields are at Maslul, Shoval, Elifaz, Yotvata, Grofit, and Erez, all of which are kibbutzim or moshavim in the Negev and Arava Valley. The solar fields cover an aggregate 512 dunam (128 acres) and cost NIS 500 million to build. Siemens Israel was the contractor for five of the projects, and Nextcom Ltd. (TASE:NXTM) built the project at Erez.
Arava Power was the first company to inaugurate a solar field in Israel - the Ketura Sun project. It was completed in 2011, and has since supplied nine million kilowatt/hours of clean power annually to Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22).
A few weeks ago, 84 robots, made by Ecoppia Ltd., were installed at Ketura Sun to clean its 28,200 solar panels. This is the world's first automated solar panel cleaning system.
Arava Power has also just begun construction of a large 40-megawatt, 600-dunam (150-acre) solar field at Kibbutz Ketura. The solar field can provide more than a third of Eilat's electricity.
Arava Power CEO Jon Cohen said, "Now that the current quotas have been utilized, the time has come to launch the economic tariff era, and to build scores of additional projects, all of them in the Negev and Arava, ventures which long ago demonstrated eligibility for tariff approval, ventures which can be hooked up to the national grid within a year of publication of the second campaign series."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 7, 2014
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