The Beit Shemesh municipality held a meting this week to launch a pilot program in which 60 public buildings will begin generating electricity.
The new program will place solar panels on the roofs of 60 public buildings. These panels will generate solar electricity and, it is expected, significantly reduce the amount of money the municipality spends on electricity, as well as provide an income from the sale of solar electricity to the Israel Electric Company.
As part of the project, over 60 roofs of public buildings were mapped out and examined. For the first stage, only those public buildings with suitable roofs were chosen, and their managers were called for a meeting to discuss the project's launch. Electricity meters have already been placed on the roofs and connected to the electric company's system.
The project will be paid for by Israel's Interior Ministry, as part of a special project to help municipalities generate income, and will include repairs of those roofs which require them. It is expected that the new panels will provide Beit Shemesh with over a million shekels ($289,239) annually in profit.
Beit Shemesh Mayor Aliza Bloch said: "I am excited that Beit Shemesh is a pioneer in such a significant project of innovation and education. In this project, we will use the sun of Beit Shemesh (literally "the House of the Sun") to reduce electricity costs, thereby creating educational innovation and green and efficient energy, of responsibility and initiative."
"At a time when the municipal budget is in deficit, the municipality is working to find sources of funding so that it can generate revenue for the residents. I am happy to be working together with the other city officials on this project."