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Photo by: COURTESY OF GREEN KNESSET
Firm chosen to install 4,650-sq.m. solar roof on Knesset
By SHARON UDASIN
12/06/2014
Airport-city based firm Solargreen has won a tender to install system, as part of the parliament's overall plan to become a "Green Knesset."
 
Airport City-based firm Solargreen has won a tender to install a 4,650- sq. m. photovoltaic solar system on the Israeli legislature’s roof, as part of the parliament’s overall plan to become a “Green Knesset.”

Out of the total NIS 7 million to be invested in the Green Knesset project, the legislature will be spending about NIS 1.7m. for the solar rooftop installation. According to Green Knesset leaders, the new roof will save the building about NIS 200,000 in annual energy costs. With a capacity of 300 kilowatts, the roof will be capable of generating 510,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.

The solar rooftop is one of 13 programs focusing on energy and water that are part of the larger Green Knesset project, launched by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Knesset director-general Ronen Plot on January 1.

“A year from now the Knesset will have realized Speaker Edelstein’s vision to create renewable energy from the sun,” Plot said. “I hope the Knesset will serve as an example for other institutions in Israel and for other parliaments around the world.”

Combined with other energy-saving measures, the installation of the solar roof is expected to save the Knesset a third of its consumption of electricity and gas, explained Dr.

Samuel Chayen, the Green Knesset project spokesman. This step will significantly reduce the building’s carbon emissions and minimize its ecological footprint, Chayen added.

In addition to the solar roof installation, the multi-year Green Knesset project involves revamping the building’s water, air conditioning and lighting systems and has also already seen the addition of two electric vehicle charging spots in the legislature’s parking lot. Meanwhile, 80 percent of the paper used in the Knesset now hails from recycled sources, and glass pitchers have replaced plastic water bottles at many committee meetings.

Solargreen was one of six bidders assessed by the Knesset for the solar roof, and received the highest overall score in the evaluation process, Chayen said. The planning period, licensing, supply and installation process is expected to conclude within a year, he added.
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