OPIC Board of Directors Approves Commitment to Negev Solar Power Plant



Thursday, March 20, 2014

(OPIC)  WASHINGTON Ė The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) today approved a $250 million loan to Negev Energy-Ashalim Thermo-Solar, Ltd. to support construction of a 110-megawatt concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Israelís Negev Desert.

This will be the first CSP facility to receive funding support from OPIC, the U.S. Governmentís development finance institution. Due to thermal storage capability and other efficiency improvements, the capacity of a CSP plant can be more than twice that of a solar photovoltaic plant. This renewable source of power generation will be one of the first large-scale alternative energy facilities in Israel, and helps both OPIC and the Obama Administrationís own goals to support renewable energy projects, as well as Israelís own recent commitment to diversify beyond energy generated from fossil fuels.

ďThis project advances one of OPICís key strategic priorities to support the development of renewable resources, and also uses an innovative solar technology,Ē said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPICís President and CEO. ďThe concentrated solar power design used for this plant is exciting, cutting-edge technology that can dramatically increase power generation. This is a project that shows how to provide a tremendously effective source of clean energy in a region dependent on fossil fuel. This is a frontier Iím honored to be entering with OPIC.Ē

The planned construction of the CSP facility is in Israelís Negev desert, one of the countryís least developed areas. The Negev Energy-Ashalim project is expected to create hundreds of jobs during construction and employ over one hundred people in both unskilled and technical capacities after the plantís completion.