Israel expands solar energy

Arava Closes Funding for $204 Million Israeli Solar Plants

By Marc Roca and Calev Ben-David on May 22, 2012 , Bloomberg

Arava Power Co., an Israeli renewable-energy developer, obtained financing for eight solar power projects valued at 780 million shekels ($204 million).

The company, part-owned by Germany’s Siemens AG (SIE), closed two separate agreements for photovoltaic plants in the Negev region with 58 megawatts of combined capacity, it said in an e-mailed statement.

Arava completed Israel’s largest solar park last June and is aiming to develop more than 400 megawatts of large-scale projects domestically. The country, which wants to source 10 percent of its power from renewables by 2020, had about 140 megawatts in photovoltaic capacity by last September, according to the power regulator PUA.

The developer obtained 400 million shekels in financing for five solar parks with 35 megawatts from Migdal Insurance and Financial Holding Ltd., Bank Hapoalim Ltd. (POLI) and Amitim. Noy Fund and Keren Kayemth Leisrael, an investor in the company, will provide equity for the 500 million-shekel projects.

Siemens, EDF

The deal was possible after the projects received a provisional license and signed a power purchase agreement with Israel Electric Corp., Arava said. Siemens will start building the plants within a few months.

Under a second agreement, the developer secured a 224 million-shekel loan from Bank Hapoalim for three solar plants developed in partnership with France’s Electricite de France SA. The 23-megawatt projects will cost 280 million shekels, it said.

Arava, based in Kibbutz Ketura, signed Israel’s first project financing for a photovoltaic plant in December.

To contact the reporters on this story: Marc Roca in London at; Calev Ben-David in Jerusalem at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randall Hackley at

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