The Ashalim solar and thermal electric power plant in Israel’s Negev Desert is up and running.
The state-of-the-art facility is equipped with more than 50,000 computer-controlled heliostats or mirrors, which can track the sun in two dimensions and reflect the sunlight onto a boiler placed on top of a tower measuring 240 m-high. That’s higher than some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and by far the tallest solar tower ever built.
The solar run generator can put out 300 megawatts of clean electricity every day, or enough to power about 150,000 homes.
Another feature of the Ashalim project is the use of solar thermal technology that can store energy for use at night in order to provide consistent and reliable output of electricity. This is one of the largest renewable energy projects in the world. The facility covers an area of over 3 sq. km.
Israel’s climate is ideal for solar power, particularly in the Negev which enjoys more than 300 sunny days a year. Once the project is proven fully successful, Israel plans to move ahead rapidly towards renewable energy sources.