Lighting Up the Middle East…Naturally

Soon, hopefully, the enter Middle East will be lit up from the sun. That’s because Kibbutz Ketura will, this week, be unveiling the first commercial solar energy plant in the Middle East. Run through the Arava Power Company, the 4.95 megawatt power source at Ketura will be presented today, on Sunday June 5th.

Suntech Photovoltaic Solar Panels

The field is compiled of 18,500 Suntech photovoltaic solar panels that should, in total, produce 9 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year. This renewable energy production has incredible potential, especially considering how sunny the Middle East is and how easy it would be to tap into this free energy source.

The occasion today expects to bring in many heavy hitters at the field, which is located 50 kilometers north of Eilat. In attendance will be National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau, Agriculture Minister Orit Noked, Mks Dr. Einat Wilf, Shlomo Molla and Eitan Cabel. And, to add some extra spice, hip-hop artist Shyne plans to be there as well.

First of Its Kind

As David Rosenblatt, the vice chairman and co-founder of the project said,

“This first-of-its-kind field… will change the face of the energy sector in the country.”

Other participants in the project include Siemens Project Ventures and Bank Hapoalim.

As Johannes Schmidt, the CEO Equity Investments & Project Finance of the Siemens Project Ventures Financial Services division said, “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 Project Ventures as a reliable and strong partner in the Israeli solar market and to further strengthen our environmental portfolio.”

Arava Power is projecting a goal to provide as much as 10% of Israel’s electricity through partnerships with areas throughout Israel’s southern regions. Time will tell if this project is one that others throughout the Middle East will want to adopt as well.

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