Israel inaugurates solar power project

A subsidiary of holding company Israel Corp says it has inaugurated a 2 megwatt solar power project, the country’s largest private solar field, to supply power to residents of southern Israel.

The Infrastructure Ministry also announced on Wednesday it would issue five new tenders next month to build solar fields in Israel’s Negev desert to produce a total of nearly 50 MW.

The government this week approved plans to accelerate the building of solar power stations around the country to help reach a goal of producing 10% of the nation’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.

IC Green Projects, a unit of Israel Corp, one of Israel’s largest holding companies, said its photovoltaic solar plant had cost about NIS 30 million (about $8.5 million). It said the funding came from Israel Discount Bank, Israel’s third-largest bank. Israel has about 12,000 MW of total installed power capacity.

IC Green Energy Ltd. (ICG) is actively seeking for high-growth opportunities in the renewable energy arena, primarily in the solar power and biofuels sectors. Israel Corp. holds 100% of ICG.

IC Green Energy is Israel Corp.’s vehicle for investing in the high growth alternative energy market, in particular, companies engaged in sourcing renewable energy sources such as solar energy and biofuels. ICG complements Israel Corp.’s activities in the traditional energy sector.

ICG’s strategy is to gain a competitive advantage in the alternative energy field by focusing on investments in companies that develop cutting edge technologies, employ risk management in their purchase of raw materials and promote cost-effective production processes of various energy forms.

To date, ICG has made several investments in companies developing new production technologies of biofuel from biomass and of solar thermal generation. ICG continues to evaluate emerging opportunities in these fields.