Israel is taking steps toward getting more energy from renewable ("green") sources with new solar energy systems in Judea and a wind turbine to be installed Monday. The new sources of energy come as the Israel Electric Corporation announced a record high in demand due to an unusually intense heat wave.
Two solar energy systems using photovoltaic technology were recently installed in Har Gilo, near Jerusalem. The systems were set up by Friendly Energy, and the power they produce will be sold to the Israel Electric Corporation under a 20-year contract.
Friendly Energy plans to install an additional two systems in the Jordan River Valley, and dozens more in communities across the country. The systems built in Har Gilo were the first major solar energy producing systems to be installed in Judea or Samaria.
On Monday, Leviathan Energy plans to connect its small wind turbine Wind Lotus to the electric grid. The first-of-its-kind energy project will be celebrated with an event at Sde Boker, a southern kibbutz commonly known as the home of Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion.
The turbine to be connected Monday is designed to produce 3.5 kilowatts of power, even in areas where winds are not particularly strong. It begins producing energy at wind speeds of 1-2 meters per second or 3.4 kilometers (2.2 miles) an hour.
The government has begun encouraging the use of wind power by paying owners of small wind turbines who provide energy to the national grid a tariff of up to 1.65 shekels per kilowatt hour.