Energix Renewable Energies, the Alony Hetz Property and Investments Ltd. group controlled by Nathan Hetz and the Wertheim family, announced Tuesday that Israel's biggest solar energy project, at Neot Hovav in the Negev, has received a permanent license for producing electricity, the Globes business newspaper reported.
According to the company's estimates, power production will yield annual revenue of 42-45 million shekels for twenty years.
An event will be held on Wednesday at Neot Hovav to mark the inauguration of the solar power plant, which has an output of 37.5 megawatt.
The event will be attended by Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Silvan Shalom, the director of the Prime Minister's Office, the chairman of Israel Electric Corporation, and the chairman of the Electricity Authority.
The plant is on reclaimed land formerly used as an evaporation pond for industrial waste, on which some 400,000 photo-voltaic panels have been erected for collecting the sun's rays and converting them to electricity.
The power produced by the plant will be transmitted via a sub-station to Israel Electric Corporation's national grid, and will be sufficient to power about 40,000 homes. Energix plans to set up an educational tourism center on the site on the subject of renewable energy.
In 2009, the Israeli government decided that by 2014, five percent of Israel's electricity would be generated from renewable sources, but today renewable energy accounts for only 1% of Israel's power consumption. This puts Israel at the bottom of the table of the developed countries, despite the fact that it enjoys more sunshine than most European countries, noted Globes.