The desert might seem like the most obvious place to take advantage of solar power, but most view the space as barren wasteland. Fortunately, Arava Power Company (APC) recently launched what is said to be the first commercial solar power field in Israel.
Israel is 60 percent desert and receives some of the strongest solar radiations on the planet. It took 5 years, but founders of APC David Rosenblatt and Ed Hofland completed Ketura Sun, the first step in their goal to reduce the carbon emissions of Israel. The solar array contains 18,500 solar panels and is located inthe Arava Valley of Kibbutz Ketura.
In the next few years, the array will provide 5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power three neighboring kibbutz towns. This will offset around 125,000 tons of carbon emissions (the equivalent of 180,000 trees). APC eventually hopes to provide 10 percent of Israel’s power via renewable means and remains committed to providing clean and reliable energy to the nation. Besides renewable energy, APC has also dedicated four corners of their field to four different non-profits in accordance to the Jewish law of pe’ah. The four companies are Jewish Heart For Africa, The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, Bustan, and the Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding Center. Each of these companies will receive funds from APC for the next 20 years.
APC is looking to transform Israel into a leader of clean energy. Besides Ketura Sun, APC has 40 more contracts for solar arrays across Israel, all in all totaling 400 megawatts of energy. While this might take several years if not decades, APC is inching closer to their goal of a clean, sustainable Israel.