Israel's Ministry of Finance has revealed that the winner of the PV tender launched in January 2020 for a 330 MW solar power plant in the Negev desert is Israeli renewable energy developer Shikun & Binui Energy Ltd.
The winning bid submitted by the company was ILS 0.0858/kWh ($0.0272). For comparison, in the country's second solar-plus-storage tender, finalized in January, the final price was ILS 0.1745/kWh.
The project will also include 210 MWh of storage and is scheduled for completion in 2023. Israel’s largest operational PV plant is currently Shikun & Binui Energy's 120 MW Zeélim solar park, located near the village of the same name in the south of the country.
“The Dimona project reflects the new spirit of the last Israeli government, seriously promoting Israel's energy security and shifting to solar plus storage,” the director of Israel's Green Energy Association, Eitan Parnass, told pv magazine. “Our country will need eight more such projects to achieve national goals and detach from new natural gas power plants.”
In a separate tender for innovative PV projects, the Ministry of Finance allocated another 814 MW of solar power.
Through this procurement exercise, the Israeli authorities wanted to select several kinds of non-ground-mounted PV projects with innovative features, which it labeled “dual-use installations.” These include vertical installations, agrivoltaics, solar carports, PV arrays for motorways, and solar shades. The tender's final average price came in at ILS 0.1705 ($0.0541)/kW and the biggest winner was Israeli solar developer Prime Energy, which secured around 475 MW of the allocated capacity.
“We are happy and excited about winning the tender, and proud to lead the move towards dual-use PV installations in the Israeli market,” Yaron Kikoz, founder and chairman of Prime Energy, told pv magazine. “We have a unique experience in dual-use constructions, the first of which was constructed on top of a cowshed in the south of Israel. We expect to divide the total quota between multiple installations all over Israel and believe the company will continue to expand its operation into Europe.”
The others winners of the tender include Doral Energy (100 MW), Zabar Solar (65 MW), YVS Renewable Energy (50 MW), Enlight Energy (30 MW) and EDF Renewables (32 MW), with other companies having secured smaller allocation quotas.
Israel supports PV through tenders for large scale projects and operates an incentive scheme for rooftop PV, offering feed-in tariffs.
In October 2020, the government approved a plan submitted by energy minister Yuval Steinitz to deploy around 15 GW more solar capacity to help raise the 2030 target for the proportion of national electricity drawn from renewables from 17% to 30%. “Our new government is strongly committed to solar and storage and is pushing for fast deployment,” Parnass further explained. “We expect a rapid solar market growth and storage implementation. Being an energy island with a successful economy and strong local market players makes it a must happen.”
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