While many Israeli wind energy projects have been stuck for years because of petitions by environmental organizations to the High Court of Justice and opposition by local authorities, Israeli ventures in this field continue to expand in Europe. Enlight Renewable Energy Solutions Ltd. (TASE:ENLT) notified the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange this morning of negotiations to buy rights in a wind energy project in Central Europe that is in advanced stages of development. The total output of the installation is 105 megawatts.
Initial estimates put the total investment in the project at €150 million (including construction and acquisition of rights). As part of its due diligence process, Enlight is in initial talks for project finance. The company estimates that senior debt leverage will amount to 70-75% of the cost of construction. At this stage, there is no certainty that the deal will be completed and the negotiations are subject to a number of conditions, including completion of due diligence and final agreement on commercial and legal matters.
In addition, Enlight reported today that, further to a company notice dated 29 October, 2017 concerning a deal for the acquisition of rights in three solar energy projects in Hungary with total output of 57 megawatts, the company has reached the first milestone in the deal.
Enlight CEO Gilad Yavetz said, "Europe continues to develop its renewable energy market with an optimal combination of solar and wind with the aim of meeting the commitments it has undertaken. Enlight's proven capability enables it keep deepening its wind energy activity while at the same time continuing to grow in solar."
The latest tender in Israel for construction of a wind farm set a price of NIS 0.30 per kilowatt hour, which is dearer than solar energy, in which the latest tender closed at under NIS 0.20 per kilowatt hour. The reason for this is the length of time it takes to set up a wind project in Israel - almost a decade, compared with just four years in Europe. This is because of the burden of regulation on the developers and objections by environmental organizations anxious about the effect on birds that nest on the Golan Heights.
The Golan Heights are the best location in Israel for wind turbines, with wind speeds there almost double those on the coastal plain. One wind turbine produces about 1 megawatt, enough to run a medium-size factory. The potential for wind energy in Israel is estimated at 1,000 megawatts. Despite this, only two wind farms operate in Israel, producing a total of just 20 megawatts.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 21, 2018
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