Megalim Solar Power Ltd, a special purpose company formed by Alstom, BrightSource and NOY, has obtained financing for its Ashalim Thermal Solar Power Station in Israel.
The financing has been secured from the European Investment Bank and the Bank Hapoalim and will be used for the construction and operation of the plant. The announcement by the company follows the signature of a Power Purchase Agreement between Megalim and the State of Israel in November 2013 and will allow the company to commence construction work with an expected completion date in early 2017. The construction phase will employ around 1,000 people.
Alstom will be responsible for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and will also provide full operations and maintenance for a period of 25 years. BrightSource will supply heliostats and optical concentrating devices. The plant will therefore combine Alstom’s experience in the field of turnkey power plants and power equipment with BrightSource’s advanced solar field technology.
“The project is a further step in our partnership with BrightSource and our first success together in the solar thermal power market” said Jérôme Pécresse, Alstom Renewable Power President. “It paves the way to provide cost-efficient and reliable carbon-free power to our customers.”
David Ramm, BrightSource Chairman and CEO, added that the use of BrightSource’s proprietary technology at Ashalim reflects the growing interest in international markets for clean, reliable and cost-competitive power. The company expects that the partnership will be the first in a number of strategic partnerships with Alstom to leverage the expertise of both companies.
Ashalim will utilise concentrating solar power (CSP) tower technology similar to that used at the Ivanpah project in Southern California. More than 50,000 computer-controlled heliostats or mirrors will track the sun in two axes and reflect sunlight to a boiler on a 240-meter tower. When the concentrated sunlight strikes the boiler, it heats water in the boiler to create superheated steam. This high-temperature steam is then piped from the boiler to a steam turbine-generator to produce electricity.
The plant is located on a 3.15 square kilometre (1.22 square miles) site in the Negev Desert and will generate enough power to meet the needs of more than 120,000 homes.