The Finance Ministry has signed off on funding agreement that will enable the construction of an additional NIS 4 billion, 121-megawatt solar-thermal power plant at the western Negev Desert Ashalim site, the office announced on Sunday.
The agreement, approved by the ministry's Accountant General's Office, allows for the partnership Negev Energy Ltd. to conduct the building, operating and transfer (BOT) associated with the future power plant's establishment. Negev Energy is a collaboration between the Arison-owned Israeli company Shikun V'Binui and the Spanish firm Abengoa Solar S.A.
Once complete, the solar-thermal plant will join a similar 121-megawatt facility already under construction at Ashalim, owned by Megalim Solar Power Ltd., a joint venture between BrightSource Energy, Alstom and the Noy Fund.
"This agreement is a milestone for renewable energy projects in the country," said senior deputy accountant general, and inter-ministerial tender committee chairman, Yariv Nehama. "The project is unusual in its scope and technological innovation, which combines capacity with energy storage."