Arava Power to "Electrify" the Negev Desert After Signing 15 Solar Energy Deals

arava powerArava Power Team: “We Are The Power!”

Israel’s Arava Power Company (APC) one of the country’s top solar energy producers, is now working towards supplying solar powered electricity to 15 Negev Desert kibbutzes and agricultural villages following the signing of an agreement with these communities, as reported in the JPost.

Arava was in the news a few months back when the German industry giant, Siemens, was reported as being interested in Arava Power. A short time later an announcement followed that Siemens had indeed purchased a 40% stake through Siemens Project Ventures for $15 million, which gave Avara about $37.5 million valuation.

This new venture with the 15 Negev region settlements will provide the communities with 100 MW of solar produced electricity — about a third of the 300 MW Public Utility Authority’s electricity quota that is being allocated for solar energy for what is known as “medium sized solar energy plants.”

Arava made its announcement to coincide with the beginning of the 2010 Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Conference, scheduled to open in Israel’s southernmost city next week.  

According to the JPost, a medium sized solar energy electricity plant is anywhere from 50 KW to 5 MW, and falls under the feed-in tariff allocation being given by the government which amounts to around NS 1.60 (US$0.48) per kwh. Arava’s CEO Joe Cohen is trying to persuade the government to take heed to Prime Minister Binyamin Natanyahu’s vision’ of ceasing most fossil fuel usage to provide electric power within a decade. Cohen wants the government to raise the solar energy power quota to 1,000 MW in order to have enough fee-in tariff funds available to make solar energy more economically feasible. Cohen went on to say the following:

“The goal to produce 300 solar megawatts is an important step towards implementing the government’s decision to produce 5 percent of Israel’s energy consumption from renewable sources by 2014, but it’s not enough: In order to achieve this goal, at least 1,000 megawatts are needed, and the market indicates that only mid-size solar fields can fill the gap faster than any other source.”

Arava has an advantage over other local solar energy companies, due to its having the necessary licenses and permits to begin the work. Siemens has been purchasing stakes in other Israeli solar energy companies, including buying Solel last October. Regarding its new stake in Arava Power, Siemens Israel’s CEO Eliezar Tookman noted that Siemens’ “vast knowledge and experience in complex project management, maintenance and operation of such projects will prepare us for the task of building multiple (solar energy) fields.” He added that “it’s only the beginning of a solar energy revolution in Israel.”

Arava Power also released a graph showing its valuation rising from $2.5 million in mid-2006 to $48 million today.

::Arava Power website

Read more on Arava Power and Siemens Solar Energy Projects in Israel:
Siemens Buys Israel’s Solel Solar for $418 Million
Siemens on Solar Streak in News of Investment in Arava Power
Arava Power will Invest $535 Million in 15 Israeli Solar Energy Fields

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