OPIC approves $250MM loan for Israeli solar project

$250 million OPIC loan will go toward the Middle East's largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant to be located in Israel's Negev Desert. (Image: Negev Desert near Yeruham, Israel- Photograph by Matthew Parker)

The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) announced it will provide a $250 million loan to fund a solar power plant in Israel, SolarServer reported. The loan will go toward the Middle East's largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant located in Israel's Negev Desert, which will have a power generation capacity of 110 megawatts. Spain-based sustainability technology developer Abengoa SA and Isaeli firm Shikun & Binui Renewable Energy will build the plant. Investment for the Ashalim Thermo Solar Power Plant - the first CSP project funded by OPIC - is projected to total $1.1 billion. 

"This project advances one of OPIC's key strategic priorities to support the development of renewable resources, and also uses an innovative solar technology," said Elizabeth Littlefield, president and chief executive officer of OPIC.

Littlefield said the plant's CSP design represents "cutting-edge technology" that can be used to significantly boost power generation in the area. 

"This is a project that shows how to provide a tremendously effective source of clean energy in a region dependent on fossil fuel," Littlefield said. "This is a frontier I'm honored to be entering with OPIC."

More information on the power market in Israel can be found on PennEnergy's research area

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