Israeli Public Utility Authority plans 1GW solar tender

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To promote transparency and efficiency, bidders will compete for tariff rates based on their own proposals, rather than the predetermined rates. Source: Flickr/Etienne Valois

Israel’s Public Utility Authority (PUA) has said that it will issue more than 1GW of fresh solar quotas after a two-year hiatus from any new solar development in an effort to boost renewables in the country.

The new move is being authorised with Israel’s renewable energy target in mind to ensure the nation meets its goal of 10% renewables being integrated into the overall power supply by 2020, the PUA has said.

According to a local report, solar developers will compete for tariff rates based on their own individual proposals rather than being assigned predetermined rates in the conventional way. According to the Jerusalem Post, this is intended to promote greater transparency in the feed-in tariff (FiT) process whilst minimising electricity costs

Following the announcement, the PUA is to hold at least six tender rounds in which solar developers can compete for PV projects, at predetermined times. Categories up for bidding are low, high and extra-high voltage; with facilities being required to be completed in 18-36 months depending on the category. Overall, the competitive procedure is scheduled to last a year, commencing in January 2017.

To be eligible, bidders will need to provide a guarantee of US$20/kW at the proposal stage and US$70/kW in the final winning stage, together with a feasibility study in the case of extra-high voltage projects.

“[This] is great news for the energy sector in Israel and is expected to accelerate, in a short time, the volume of renewable energy produced from just 2% today to full compliance with the government’s objectives,” said PUA chairman Assaf Eilat in a statement.

The news of the solar quota is an exciting development for Israel, paving the way for a cleaner and more economical energy future. The anticipated size of the tender is also of note, confirming solar as a competitive and mature energy option.  It follows recently announced plans for a PPP tender for a 500MW solar facility.

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