03/30/2011 06:55

Most of the public buildings selected to receive the solar systems are schools and community centers.

The Jerusalem Municipality issued a tender this week to Moriah Jerusalem Development Company to construct 50 new solar energy systems on the rooftops of public buildings, which will cost the company NIS 35 million, the city announced today.

While the project itself had been approved last month, Moriah only won the bid to carry out the project in the past couple days, a spokesman for the company said.

Most of the public buildings selected to receive the solar systems are schools and community centers, and the company intends to perform most of the installations during the upcoming summer vacation.

The Israel Electric Corporation authorized the installations and awarded Moriah a 20-year contract on the systems, which will generate approximately 2.5 megawatts of energy per hour, according to the municipality.

Moriah, the development company owned by the municipality, is currently “looking at how to finance the project,” according to CEO Alex Weisman, noting that this is the first time that the company will invest in a project that does not involve pure building construction or road expansion but instead involves energy. The group is currently in talks with banks to acquire loans for the NIS 35 million costs, Weisman said.

“We believe that many banks will want to support the project,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “It’s a green project, and I think that Moriah, as a green company, wanted to invest in green projects and to expand greening efforts in the Municipality of Jerusalem.”

A second advantage of the project for Moriah, according to Weisman, is the commercial “opportunity” of delving into this sector. He is sure that the project will be profitable, as the Israel Electric Corporation pays a premium to solar energy developers, and the proceeds will be split between the company and the municipality, he said.