Week in Middle East: Tender Issued for Largest Solar Field in Israel, Arava region of Israel about to be 100% solar powered, Vodafone Egypt expected to cancel tender for solar PV plant to power its installations and More

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Tender Issued for Largest Solar Field in Israel

A tender for construction of what will be the largest solar field in Israel was issued in recent days by a joint committee of the Finance and Energy Ministries. The field is to be constructed near Dimona, and will include, for the first time in such projects, a stipulation that storage for harvested energy be built as part of the solar field. The field will spread across 3,000 dunams of empty land, and will generate 300 megawatts of electricity, generating more power than any other solar field in the country. Construction is expected to begin in 2021 and be completed in 2023.

Arava region of Israel about to be 100% solar powered

The Arava region – from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea – is about to be powered 100% during the day by the sun. Yes, that includes Eilat, all the hotels, factories, homes, businesses, kibbutzim and air conditioning – 100%! And by 2025, the sun will power all nighttime electricity needs as well.

Vodafone Egypt expected to cancel tender for solar PV plant to power its installations

Vodafone Egypt is expected to cancel its tender for establishing a solar photovoltaic power plant to supply electricity for the company’s facilities nationwide as the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency (EgyptERA) has now defined the regulatory controls of the building and operation of solar plants. A senior official at Vodafone Egypt told Daily News Egypt that that 10 companies have expressed their desire to implement the project, of which four applicants have been chosen, but they have not been notified yet of any developments. According to previous statements, Vodafone Egypt estimated that more than EGP 500,000 will be used to build a power plant with a capacity of between 20-50MW. The electricity will be used to power Vodafone Egypt’s technology centres and base stations. The firm will have to sign a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), which will allow the electricity produced by the solar power plant to pass through its grid.

Iraq’s Duhok governorate to build 2-MW EU-supported solar park

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Tuesday signed a letter of agreement with the Iraqi Governorate of Duhok to set up a pilot solar park with a goal to enable at least 2 MW of power generation within two years. The organisation has said that USD 2 million (EUR 1.8m) in funding for the project will be provided by the European Union under the UNDP programme “Supporting Recovery and Stability in Iraq through Local Development”. The 2-MW facility will be Duhok’s first solar park. According to the UNDP, the governorate in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region struggles with electricity shortages, as well as air and noise pollution caused by over 1,000 power generators. To address this, Duhok anticipates the installation of up to 40 MW of solar parks by 2030, the UNDP said.

Israel Invites Pre-Qualification Bids for 300 MW of Solar Projects

The Government of Israel has issued a tender inviting interested bidders to participate in the pre-qualification process to develop approximately 300 MW of solar projects. The projects are to be developed near Dimona in the Negev under a public-private partnership. The last date for the submission of bids is May 26, 2020, while the final date for the submission of requests for clarification has been scheduled for April 19, 2020. The pre-qualification process is to select entities who will be eligible to participate in the tender process. As per the financial requirements, the interested bidder should have an annual turnover of at least New Israeli Sheqel (NIS) 300,000,000 (~$87 million) in the last three years. A bidder who is not a financial entity is required to show the equity of not less than NIS 2,000,000 (~$~$0.6 million).

Israel launches 300 MW solar-plus-storage tender

Israel’s Ministry of Energy has kicked off a tender for a 300 MW solar power plant in the Negev desert. The ministry said the solar park would be the largest in the country upon completion. “For the first time in a national tender, a request to deploy energy storage will be included to meet the cost challenges,” stated the ministry. Construction is planned to begin in late 2021 with completion in 2023. Bidders have until May 26 to table projects. No indication was given of whether the tender – published last week – would include a price ceiling for the solar power generated but the government pointed out the cheapest solar price tariff received to date in Israel was also for a project in the Negev. That referred to the $0.025 per kWh bid lodged by the EDF Renewables unit of the French energy company in June. “This is the cheapest electricity generation in Israel, including pollutant fuel production,” the government said.

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