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Here Comes the Sun

By ReNew Canada 10:39AM May 01, 2011

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Visible from Route 90 just north of Eilat, Israel’s resort city on the tip of the Red Sea, Aora-Solar’s golden 30-metre stem is topped with a striking, glowing bulb. Perched in the sand at Kibbutz Samar, the tower is surrounded by a field of mirrors—together, the components of this unit are capable of generating 100 kilowatts (kW) of electric power and 170 kW of thermal power.

The solar project was part of a recent tour in conjunction with the 2011 Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Conference. A press delegation of eight journalists from around the world gathered in the Arava Desert to learn about Israel’s investment in innovation around renewable energy.

Not far from Samar, another major project is underway. About 50 kilometres north of the Eilat, delegates joined Ketura Sun (a joint venture of the Arava Solar Power Company and Kibbutz Ketura) as representatives from its partnering companies celebrated the ground breaking for a solar project scheduled to cover a field with 18,000 photovoltaic (PV) panels and generate 4.9-megawatts (MW) of power.

Considered a major win for solar innovation, the project is the result of the first power purchase agreement (PPA) for solar energy in Israel. The NIS 250-million (US$65-million) agreement commits the government to purchasing every kilowatt-hour produced by the solar photovoltaic (PV) field at a rate of NIS 1.49 per kilowatt-hour for the next 20 years. Plans to expand the field are already in motion.

The difference between the two projects? It may be a matter of one paving the way for the other. “The real achievement here is overcoming Israel’s bureaucracy,” said Minister of National Infrastructure Uzi Landau at the launch ceremony. Landau championed the Ketura Sun project from its inception. The PPA, signed in November 2010, represents somewhat of a breakthrough for Israel, which has pledged to make 10 per cent of its energy mix renewable by 2020. As another speaker put it, “Part of Israel’s national resilience is defense and security, but it’s also about energy resilience.”

For a country that thrives on innovation and encourages the entrepreneurial spirit, jumping through the hurdles has proven tough. Even now, newer projects still wait patiently for approval and support. Aora’s solar-thermal project uses about 2,000 square metres of land and costs about half a million dollars, but it’s not a profitable unit—yet. “Support exists, but it is not sufficient,” says Aora’s chief technology officer, Pinchas Doron, who says that support needs to come to the same levels as the support provided for solar PV technology. Israel must also give preference to domestic technology, he says.

The technology behind Aora’s hybrid system allows it to operate on any alternative fuel source, including fossil or biofuel, when the sun’s not shining. Inside the power conversion unit, there’s a microturbine attached to the solar receiver. Cold air flows from the turbine’s recuperator into the receiver—that heats up the air to 1,000 degrees Celsius, which expands into the turbine and turns the blades to generate electricity. The unit’s exhaust air, approximately 250 degrees, can be used to heat water to 80 degrees.

While the project isn’t as straightforward as Ketura Sun’s, it is promising. Aora is focusing on Spain as its first break into the international market. Could Canada be next?

“Canada’s latitude is far north of the equator, so the sun is relatively low above the horizon most of the year,” says Doron. “Also, the annual direct normal insolation that our system uses is lower compared to other locations. Therefore, it will take Extraspel Casino forsynes hovesaklig med spill fra NeoGames, som er mest kjent for de elektroniske skrapeloddene deres samt instant win-spillene. very particular and probably unlikely-to-happen conditions for our unit to make sense in Canada.”

Canada may mobile casino not be as well suited to this type of solar farm, but some cities are discovering that individual systems installed on residential homes may make solar thermal power generation more viable.

With thanks to Israel’s Department of Foreign Affairs and the Israel Linda Biondi is a fourth grade teacher at Pond Road Middle  school delays in Robbinsville, NJ, and a long-time Morning Meeting practitioner. Economic Mission in Toronto for inviting ReNew Canada’s Kerry Freek to join a delegation of Canadians working with Israel on research and innovation.

Designed by Haim Doton Ltd. Architects, Aora-Solar’s “flower power” hybrid solar project generates both electric and thermal energy that can provide power and heat off the grid.

Progress in Canada: 
Close-up on Halifax

Not known particularly for its sunny days, Halifax is making a go of solar thermal power. “We’re apparently the third-best casino online solar regime in Canada,” says Julian Boyle, casino online Halifax Regional Municipality’s (HRM’s) energy manager. “We’re sunnier than Germany, where, Assuming updated reports show that around casino 90% of those who purchased affordable-health.info did pay, the May Gallup Poll poll showing 13. as you know, there’s a lot of work on solar technologies. The climate is good—it’s no Arizona, but we’re not foggy all the time, either.”

When HRM’s council committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20 per cent by 2012, the municipality started working to reach its goal, spending over $10 million to date on incorporating efficiencies, upgrades, and renewable energy alternatives such as geothermal Please contact the press centre if you have any press queries about RED san diego truck driving school School. into its buildings. But Boyle believes that solar power is the ticket to public engagement in energy efficiency. As such, efficiency is the bigger target behind Halifax’s Solar City campaign.

“Solar will be a drop in the GHG bucket,” he says, “but it will engage people to reduce their energy consumption. It’s a sexy, renewable technology that everybody can understand.”

However, with an $8,000 per installation price tag, it’s not likely that Halifax will see early adopters fighting each other for the opportunity to be first in line.

Luckily, support from the Province has made Solar City more financially attractive. Last fall, Nova Scotia passed legislation that allows the HRM to loan money to homeowners through the property tax system, lowering the risks of the solar program for the municipality. “We’re the first jurisdiction in Canada to have this online casino canada kind of enabling authority,” says Boyle.

Now, homeowners that sign up for the Solar mobile casino City program will be eligible for about $3,000 worth of grants and incentives (federal, provincial, utility programs), shaving some of the upfront cost while the HRM looks after administering the applications. By financing with the HRM over a 10-12-year period, the homeowner will pay about $500 per year—the average savings for installing the solar thermal systems. Eventually, homeowners will own the equipment and keep the savings.

Of course, there are other motives. “Solar is a labour intensive technology,” says Boyle. Local industry confirms it takes about 48 hours of labour per installation—that’s the Canadian average. “That’s another reason we picked solar. We already have five or six small businesses, and this program will drastically increase the amount of work going on locally.”

Currently, there are about 200 homes in Halifax with solar installations. The ambitious aim, Boyle confirms, is to reach 1,000 new installations, creating opportunities for local manufacturers to increase their output. “It’s good for the city and part of the economic development mandate we have as well, creating green collar jobs and capacity around this type of technology,” says Boyle.

He also sees Halifax as a breeding ground for solar expertise. “We want to see the big picture around policy and strategy, but also around education and awareness: we’re serious about making Halifax the first solar city in Canada,” Boyle says.

Homes that will sign up for program will be able to reduce GHGs up to 30 per cent. “It’s not going to get us to a really wide-scale GHG reduction, but it puts us on the right track,” says Boyle. “If we scale up to $20-30 million worth of programs per year, that’s when we can make really significant strides. Solar is more strategically important now. With this program, we want to prove that there have been improvements in sustainable financing.”

Progress in Canada: Close-up on Ontario

When Kitchener, Ontario officially launches its 500-kilowatt-per-hour solar energy system this spring, it will be home to the largest solar panel installation in Canada. Kitchener will sell the power generated by the 2,660 photovoltaic solar panels to the Ontario Power Authority under a 20-year contract. The City, which will own, operate, and maintain the system, expects a yearly revenue of over $363,900, and more than $3.5 million over the course of the contract. The $4.1-million system was funded through a three-way partnership between the federal government, the Province, and the City of Kitchener. The federal investment came through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, while a portion of the municipal funding came from the city’s Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF), a $5-million program aimed at reducing or repairing the city”s impact on the environment. FCM also contributed more than $4,500 from its Green Municipal Fund, which helped cover project-related consulting fees.

The solar panels for the system were manufactured and installed by local company, Photowatt Ontario, out of Cambridge, supporting Ontario’s continued efforts to position itself as a leader in green manufacturing. Another solar manufacturing plant is set to begin production this year in Newmarket, York Region. SunEdison’s affiliate MEMC Singapore has partnered with Flextronics to produce solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, helping SunEdison and its project partners to get beyond the 60 per cent domestic content requirement of Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff Program (FIT).

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