Israeli Concentrated Solar Thermal Power company Ener-t wins tender for building Indian National R&D Solar Center
Coasting low under the radar, Israel’s Ener-t has become a company to be reckoned with in the solar energy industry. The privately-held company, both a technology developer and an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor for large scale thermal solar power projects, Ener-t has beat out billion-dollar companies to win projects in India, Spain and more. We spoke with Ener-t Founder and Chairman Yehuda Harats.
“We won this contract for the National CSP Solar Center in Rajasthan, India after an aggressive international tender. The center is planned to open in 2015 with the latest CSP technologies, and will support India in its program to become world leader in CSP,” says Harats.
For Ener-t this is the second win in India. the company is already well advanced in the construction of a 50 MW plant in Rajasthan, India as an EPC contractor. Ener-t also supplies the solar field and produces its own solar collectors in 10 factories around the world, including Israel, India and China.
“25 years ago, working at Luz, our people built the largest solar thermal energy generating facility in the world, which is successfully operating still today – 9 Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) in California’s Mojave Desert with the combined capacity of 354 megawatts,” says Harats, who at the time served as the Executive VP of Luz, and pioneered thermal solar technology.
Ener-t’s Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology, aggressive cost reduction program and project management skills enable the company to bid against some of the energy industry’s biggest players, and win. “In tenders we find ourselves bidding against giant infrastructure companies from Spain, Germany, the U.S. and other countries, with yearly revenues in the billions, and even tens of billions of dollars,” says Harats. Ener-t provided its technology to 3 projects recently completed in southern Spain, each supplying 50 megawatts to the Spanish national grid.
So how is Ener-t able to stand up against the declining tariffs for renewable power and win major solar projects? “Thanks to our many years of experience, proven, bankable and innovative technologies and competitive pricing, we bring customers an attractive offering,” says Harats. The company has developed a next generation CSP Parabolic Trough technology. “We achieved annual efficiency of 20%, together with a 30% capacity utilization factor, a world record that makes our projects profitable even at lower tariffs, and easier to finance,” says Harats.
The company’s latest innovations include thermal storage systems, which enable solar power plants to stay active at night, as well as a patented hybrid solution with biomass, gas or any other type of fossil fuel, which enables plants to generate power 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Ophir Gore, who heads the alternative energy department at Israel NewTech, the Israeli government program dedicated to the advancement of Israel’s Cleantech industry, congratulated Ener-t: “It’s quite amazing to see what this private, family owned Israeli company is doing, and how it’s successfully competing against global giants to build huge thermal solar installations around the world. This is a great example of Israeli innovation which offers added value to customers, enabling companies to successfully compete against big players in the market.”