Israeli solar energy group gets license following successful interconnection of 4.95 megawatt Ketura sun field to national grid by Israel Electric Corporation

Israeli solar energy group Arava Power Company has been awarded the first permanent solar license in the country’s history by the Public Utilities Authority (PUA), following the successful interconnection of the 4.95 megawatt Ketura sun field to the national grid by the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC).

The interconnection and permanent license follow the awarding of an industry-leading 11 additional solar provisional licenses to Arava Power for a total of 68 megawatts, constituting approximately 21% of the total power licenses distributed by the PUA until now.

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The projects represent a total investment of approximately $300 million.

“We are very grateful to the PUA and IEC for their professionalism in advancing these solar licenses, symbolizing green energy hope for the people of Israel,” said Jon Cohen, CEO of Arava Power Company.

“Independent clean energy from Israel’s periphery stands in contrast to the oil, gas and coal monopolies currently fueling – and polluting – the State of Israel.”

Arava Power Company Chairman Ed Hofland pointed out that the 11 additional projects that have been awarded provisional licenses are for solar installations in communities in the Arava region and the Negev Desert and will create hundreds of green jobs, mostly in Israel’s southern periphery.

“We are proud to partner with kibbutzim and moshavim and help strengthen their long-term economic base to enable these types of Israeli communities to realize their collectivist values well into the 21st century.”

David Rosenblatt, Arava Power Company vice-chairman, took pride in Arava Power as the solar power industry leader with the company’s planned pipeline of over 400 megawatts, comprising nearly 50 projects, and an investment of at least $1.5 billion.

Rosenblatt noted that when the Israeli government lifts the solar caps, Israel will become a world leader in solar power.

‘Important day in battle for energy independence’

Arava Power Company President Yosef Abramowitz expressed his desire for the next solar licenses to be granted to the Negev Bedouin, thereby promoting economic justice in the South of the country, and for large fields, such as the planned 40 megawatt field at Kibbutz Ketura, which would free Eilat and the Arava region from the need to generate power by burning “dirty” and expensive diesel and jet fuel.

Minister of National Infrastructure Uzi Landau said, “This is an important day in Israel’s battle for energy independence. It is the realization of Ben-Gurion’s vision: the Negev is blooming, flourishing and generating a green electricity alternative to an energy economy that is currently in crisis.

“We will continue to work towards the goal to generate as much green electricity as possible. The renewable energy industry has the power to provide hundreds of jobs, especially in the periphery. We are continuing to work on removing the barriers in order to achieve the government’s goals for clean energy generation.”

The license is subject to the minister’s final approval.

“Ketura Sun is the first high power photovoltaic unit that we have set up together with Arava Power in Israel. The project is a perfect opportunity to position Siemens as a reliable and strong partner in the Israeli solar market and to further strengthen our environmental portfolio,” said Eliezer Tokman, CEO of Siemens Israel.

“We are pleased that together with Arava Power, we became the pioneers in the Israeli solar market. We are happy and proud of this additional advancement of the Ketura project, which further enhances our environmental portfolio based on the company’s principles.”,7340,L-4137188,00.html