World’s tallest solar tower under construction in Israel

World’s tallest solar tower under construction in Israel

Israel has enhanced its previously under-developed renewable energy sector by announcing the construction of the world’s largest solar tower in the Negrev desert of southern Israel.

The Ashalim project will generate up to 310MW of power – around 1.6% of the nation’s energy needs – using solar tower technology.

The 250m tower will be encircled by 50,000 heliostat solar mirrors, which reflect the sun’s rays towards the tower, creating concentrated solar power.

Consisting of three plots, with a fourth in the pipeline, the project will generate enough energy to power 130,000 households, around 5% of Israel’s population.

Eran Gartner, chief executive of Megalim Solar Power Ltd, who are constructing one part of the project said: “It’s the most significant single building block in Israel’s commitment to CO2 reduction and renewable energy.”

There are currently 12 operations which utilise solar tower technology across the world, with the largest project at present the 140m tall Ivanpah plant in California.

The Ashalim project will be completed in 2018, two years before Israel aims to reach a goal of generating 10% of its energy demands from renewable sources. The nation currently gets 2.5% of its total power from renewables.