Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Solel awarded $2.6 million grant from Spanish Government for solar thermal manufacturing facility

Solel Solar Systems, Ltd. recently announced it has received a $2.6 million grant from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Enterprise of the Andalusian Region of Spain to be used for the construction and development of a facility to build solar thermal fields components. The facility, in La Carolina, Spain, will be Solel's first manufacturing plant in Spain, and will include lines for the production of parabolic reflectors, metal supports for solar collectors, and other essential components used for conversion of sunlight to electricity.

The construction of the plant in La Carolina is expected to be completed in 2012, with some manufacturing lines becoming operational later this year. Total investment by Solel in manufacturing plants in Spain is expected to reach $140 million, and it will employ 300 workers in La Carolina by 2012.

Solel commenced operations in Spain in 2006 and supplies technology to 15 solar thermal power plants, with a combined capacity of 750 MW. In addition to being a technology provider, Solel has joined with Sacyr Vallehermoso, a leading Spanish construction company, in a joint venture to build three power plants with a total capacity of 150 MW. The first of these plants, the 50 MW Lebrija 1 facility, will begin operations in 2010.

"We are grateful to the governments of Andalusia and of Spain for the confidence they have shown us and their commitment to both technological advancement and renewable energy," said Avi Brenmiller, President and CEO of Solel. "Through their policies, Spanish governments are encouraging the development of new sources of energy, and contribute to the creation of new workplaces in Spain. Our new facility will deliver Solel's state-of-the-art equipment and technology that reduce the cost of producing solar energy".

Solel is currently building three solar power plants in Andalusia, Spain, and its American subsidiary, Solel, Inc., is developing the 553 MW Mojave Solar Park in California. Nine power plants in California using Solel's technology have been operating successfully for over twenty years, producing 350 MW of electricity and eliminating the need for two million barrels of oil annually.

Solel employs about 500 workers, with its headquarters, manufacturing plant and R&D center in Beit Shemesh, Israel.

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