Wednesday, November 26, 2008

US & Israel to launch energy cooperation agreement at Eilat Energy Conference

The Eilat-Eilot International Renewable Energy Conference announced that the US-Israel Energy Cooperation Act, passed last year by the U.S. Congress, is expected to launch at the upcoming Eilat-Eilot energy conference, to be held from February 17-19, 2009, in Eilat, Israel.

The cooperation act will fund eligible joint ventures between U.S. and Israeli businesses, as well as establish the International Energy Advisory Board. Hezi Kugler, Director General of the Ministry of National Infrastructures will be leading the delegation of National Infrastructure representatives who will be in attendance at the conference.

“The Ministry of National Infrastructures views with high import the development of the Eilat-Eilot Region as a center of renewable energy solutions, and we not only fully support them in this pursuit, but we ourselves are very involved in advancing their initiatives,” Kugler said. “The conference is an important step towards developing the alternative energy capabilities of this region, and will certainly push us forward in becoming an alternative energy world leader.”

Timna Renewable Energy Park

The conference will also feature the unveiling of plans for the Timna Renewable Energy Park, the centerpiece of the Eilat-Eilot region’s efforts to turn Southern Israel into the “Silicon Valley” of renewable energy. It will feature technologies from companies around the world, with planned projects to include a combined wind/solar "farm"; a solar thermal power plant; a solarized turbine pilot plant and the production of biogas from municipal waste.

"The Arava is home to intense sun and a pioneering spirit, which are the necessary ingredients for creating a renewable energy revolution in the State of Israel", said Yosef I. Abramowitz, president of the Arava Power Company, a leading solar developer.

Leading Solar Power Companies

Participating Israeli solar companies, including the Arava Power Company (APC), Solar Power Israel and Sunday Solar Energy, intend on using the conference to launch their next phases of growth. Recently, APC announced an agreement to utilize kibbutz land in the Arava and the Negev for solar fields generating at least 500 MW, and eventually one gigawatt (GW) or more, while energy integrator Sunday Solar Energy announced a NIS 500 million ($133 million USD) investment in photovoltaic solar arrays for kibbutzim across Israel. The investment is expected to be made across the country during the next two years.

The conference will also feature international firms such as the Google-backed eSolar, the German company Concentrix and SunPower, one of the world’s largest solar power technologies companies.

Conference sponsors include Brightsource Energy, Chromagen, Granite HaCarmel and Erdinast, Ben Nathan & Co. Advocates.