Leviathan Energy 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The winds are blowing favorably for Leviathan Energy, a four-yearold renewable
energy technology company, whose first small wind turbine, the Wind Lotus,
connected to the power grid on Monday and began producing electricity in Sde
Boker for Midreshet Ben-Gurion and the environmental high
National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau (Israel Beiteinu)
was on hand to throw the switch.
The Wind Lotus is an early model turbine
invented by Leviathan CEO and founder, Dr. Daniel Farb. An oleh from the United
States who arrived in 2005, Farb immediately got to work building wind turbines
and wave energy generators based on his patented ideas. He founded and began
funding Leviathan Energy a year later.
The latest model is the Wind
Tulip, which is more aerodynamically and aesthetically
According to the company, its wind turbines are unique because
they start working at much lower wind speeds than most other small wind
turbines. Instead of starting at winds of three to four meters per second, the
Wind Lotus and the Wind Tulip produce electricity at just one to two meters per
“It’s been a great five years since I moved here and got involved
in the technology. It’s been very stimulating, it’s nice to see what I’ve
accomplished with the help of a very dedicated team,” Farb told The Jerusalem
Post after Monday’s ceremony.
“We still have a long way to
Still a lot of work and challenges.
But there’s a sense of
satisfaction that we’re doing something for the country. If we can grow the
company into a world leader in wind turbines then we’ve really accomplished a
lot for the world,” Farb said.
“Israel is an excellent country for small
wind turbines. It’s small and crowded but there are more places with good wind
than people realize.
Also energy security-wise, more points of generation
is better. And especially with the electric car coming to Israel, there are a
lot of points where you can put it to generate electricity,” he
The vertical access Wind Lotus was tested for over two years at
the Rotem Industrial Park outside Dimona and performed exceedingly well. Today,
the Wind Tulip is ready for mass production as well, the company
The wind energy market was recently enabled by a new feed-in tariff
of NIS 1.65 per kilowatt hour for 20 years. A feed-in tariff is a guaranteed
rate the government will buy all of the electricity produced for 20 years. It is
a financial mechanism used to encourage renewable energy industries like wind
and solar until the costs drop enough for them to become competitively priced
with fossil fuels like coal and natural gas.
In other parts of the world,
wind energy costs are comparable to fossil fuels. Solar energy is still several
years away from “grid parity” – where costs will equal those of fossil fuel
There has been some debate about Israel’s wind
potential. Those in the industry, like Farb and Afcon Energy’s Eli Ben-Dor,
maintain that Israel has a surprisingly large potential in certain areas such as
the north and the Arava Valley.
The Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) is
more skeptical, seeing only a limited potential for wind and much more for solar
Leviathan contends that its Wind Tulip is ideal for urban
settings since it has very low vibrations and makes little noise and therefore
can be bolted onto the roofs of houses so as not to use up any additional land.
Its small size enables additional turbines to be configured in close proximity
to make use of the first turbine’s aerodynamics.
Wind farms in other
countries are generally set away from population centers since large wind
turbines tend to be noisy. In Denmark, for instance, a world leader in wind
energy, some of the farms are even placed offshore on the water.
Tulip will be available in both 2.0 and 3.5 kilowatt versions for NIS 30,000 and
NIS 44,000, respectively. Return on investment would be 20 percent with the
right winds. The company said it was looking for additional investors as it
moves to mass production.
Leviathan Energy is a member of iConsortium,
which aims to be a one-stop shop for security and environmental needs.