Israeli Knesset goes green

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The Israeli Knesset is installing what it says is the largest solar PV installation on any parliament building in the world. The 450 kW array will consist of some 1,500 custom-made solar panels covering more than 4,650 square meters.

The solar array, which cost Israeli taxpayers ILS 2.4 million ($610,137), employs JA Solar’s JA PV modules and is expected to generate some 10% of the Knesset’s electricity and, along with additional energy-saving measures, help reduce the building’s energy use by a third.

The Knesset expects the solar array to result in savings of more than $76,000 a year. The installation will become the first national institution in Israel to operate under the country’s net-metering scheme.

Israel launched the first part of its Green Knesset project last year. Regarded as a flagship project for Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, Green Knesset consists of 13 projects aimed at saving energy and water that have been approved and budgeted. The Knesset has invested nearly $1.8 million in the project and anticipates annual savings of some $380,000. The legislature will transfer annual savings to the "Green Fund," which will continue to finance new Green Knesset projects. All of the projects that have been approved are economically viable and expected to pay for themselves within five years.

The Knesset will unveil its solar array during a special ceremony on March 29.