The Ashalim Plot-B Solar Thermal Power Plant is being constructed in the Western Negev Desert, approximately 35km south of the city of Be’er Sheva, in a site located south of Highway 211. The 121MW renewable power plant will be capable of meeting the electricity needs of more than 120,000 homes.

The project forms part of the larger Ashalim Complex, which involves the construction of another 110MW CSP plant and 30MW photovoltaic power plant.

The project is being developed by Megalim Solar Power (Megalim), a consortium of Alstom (25.05%), Brightsource Energy (25.05%) and NOY Infrastructure and Energy Investment Fund (49.95%), on a 25-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.

Alstom is performing the engineering, procurement and construction of the project, while the concentrating solar power (CSP) tower technology is being supplied by Brightsource Energy.

Megalim won the bid for the project in November 2012, construction works were initiated in June 2015 and are scheduled for completion in early 2017.

The project is expected to generate approximately 1,000 jobs during the peak construction period and approximately 45 permanent jobs during the operations phase. It will also help offset 110,000t of CO₂ emissions a year.

Ashalim Plot-B Solar Thermal Power Plant make-up

Miraah (translated as ‘mirror’ in Arabic), a proposed 1,021MW solar thermal facility to be located in South Oman, is expected to be one of the world’s biggest solar plants.

The solar thermal power project site covers an area of approximately 3.15km². It will be equipped with more than 50,000 computer-controlled heliostats, which will track the sun in two dimensions and reflect the sunlight onto a boiler placed on top of a tower measuring 240m (787.4ft)-high.

The heated water in the boiler will produce superheated steam, which will be conveyed to a conventional steam turbine-generator via pipes to produce electricity. The heliostats or mirrors will cover a surface area of approximately 3.15km².

Grid connection and power purchase agreement for Plot-B Plant

The output from the project will be conveyed to the existing Mashabey Sadeh Power Plant via a new high-voltage, overhead transmission facility.

The electricity generated from the project will be purchased by the State of Israel, under a 25-year power purchase agreement signed in November 2013.

Financing for the Israeli concentrated solar power project

The overall investment in the project is expected to be NIS3bn ($851m approximately), which is being funded through equity (20%) and debt (80%). The project achieved financial closure in July 2014, following the execution of loan agreements with the European Investment Bank and Bank Hapoalim.

Contractors involved in solar power plant

“The project forms part of the larger Ashalim Complex, which involves the construction of another 110MW CSP plant and 30MW photovoltaic power plant.”

Tadiran Batteries, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saft Group, is supplying its proprietary TLI series-based rechargeable batteries to drive the heliostat motors and power device communications.

Details of the Ashalim complex

The other CSP power plant at the Ashalim Complex, named the Plot-A110MW solar thermal plant, is being developed by the consortium of Abengoa and Shikun & Binui Renewable Energy. The plant is estimated to require an investment of $1bn and will integrate parabolic trough technology with a 4.5-hour thermal energy storage system using molten salts.

The 30MW photovoltaic solar plant is being developed by Ashalim Sun, a consortium of Sun Edison and Clal Sun.

The Ashalim complex will account for 2% of Israel’s installed capacity and help the country to achieve its target of generating 10% of its gross electricity production from renewable sources by 2020. The three power plants at the complex will share the same electricity transmission infrastructure.

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