Solar project pioneer shuts planned solar field down after ILA raises land lease fees; says pursuing project has become economically unfeasible

Lior Guttman, Calcalist
Published: 08.17.12

SunPower, which specializes in constructing and maintaining solar systems, announced over the weekend that it is pulling out of the giant solar project it has been heading over the past year in Moshav Talmei Eliyahu, in southern Israel.

The NIS 130 million (roughly $32.5 million) project was supposed to produce 10 megawatts of solar electricity, via a field stretching 57 acres.

Company sources said that the decision to abandon the project stemmed from an increase in the land’s lease fees, recently ordered by the Israel Land Administration, which has made pursuing the project economically unfeasible.

The project was meant to supply more than electricity – the company planned to create dozens of jobs.

SunPower is an American company with an Israeli branch. The company has been active since 2008 and has so far pioneered projects producing 20 megawatts of solar power.

SunPower declined to comment.,7340,L-4267827,00.html