Landau Eilat-Eilot 311.
(photo credit: .)
National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau opened the third annual Eilat-Eilot International Renewable Energy Conference on Tuesday by declaring, “The way is now open to turn the dream of red roofs to the vision of green houses.” He also announced that the European Investment Bank, the European Union’s long-term lending institution, would double its initial €50 million investment in the Ashalim renewable energy power plant to €100 million.
The plant will open its first tender at the end of April and is slated to begin operation at the end of 2014.
The power plant in the western Negev will comprise two solar thermal power stations, each with a capacity of about 120MW, with a maximum installed capacity of about 250MW. The estimated cost of the project is $750 million. The project will also include a photovoltaic (PV) power plant with an approximate installed capacity of 15MW, with a provision to expand it by a further 15MW to bring it up to a possible 30MW PV power plant.
“One of the goals of the National Infrastructures Ministry is to provide every Israeli home with access to power produced from renewable energy sources,” Landau said at the opening session of the conference. “The Ashalim power plant is a major part of our vision to transform the Israeli ‘red-roof’ dream into a ‘green-roof’ reality. More importantly, with the construction of the Ashalim plant, we are moving from simply talking about our renewable energy potential to actualizing our vision.”
The conference also marks the unveiling of a plan to build a renewable energy research center in “Sun Valley,” as the Eilat-Eilot Regional Council would like the region to become. The council would like to turn the area into a beta site for renewable energy technologies and eventually receive all of its electricity from renewable sources.
The conference, which will run until Thursday, will feature speakers such as former US ambassador to Israel Richard H. Jones, who is now the deputy executive director of the International Energy Agency; Mr. George E. Pataki, former governor of New York State; Congressman Steve Israel (NY); Mr. Michael R. Peevey, president of California Public Utility Commission; Nobel laureate Prof. Robert Aumann and Dr. Hermann Scheer, general chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy.