Not yet swords into plowshares, as depicted in this sculpture at the UN, but the Israel Air Force is embarking on a solar power campaign.
Unfortunately, the Green Prophet cannot report that the nations of the Middle East are beating their swords into plowshares (as another prophet once envisioned), but there is some good news on the military front: The Israel Air Force (IAF) is planning an array of solar installations to generate electricity for all of its bases.
Within two months, the IAF is expected to publish a tender to supply and install small photovoltaic (PV) systems (up to 50 kilowatts) for electricity production at its bases, the Globes business newspaper reports. The winning bidder will commit to maintain the systems for 15 years, with an option to extend the contract for another five years. A similar tender for mid-sized PV systems (50 kilowatts to 5 megawatts), slated for larger bases, is to be published later this year.
The most ambitious part of the IAF’s solar power project is a plan to build a 50-megawatt thermal solar facility at the Nevatim base in the Negev. Now in the feasibility review stage, this project would utilize technology developed in Israel and would cost some NIS 250 million.
The Globes report does not mention whether similar solar projects will be adopted by other branches of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). While the IDF is clearly making some efforts to reduce its environmental impact, including a goal of reducing 10% of its electricity consumption by the end of 2010, the Green Prophet recently lamented that the IDF remains lax even in cleaning up its own sewage.
Read more on the IDF and the environment: