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    New Solar Energy Plant Construction Was Launched in Israel

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    A large-scale solar project—Ketura Sun field—was launched in the Negev Desert in Israel by Arava Power Company, who recently partnered with Siemens. With billions of dollars to be invested, another 40 new projects are planned, hoping to boost the country's solar energy production and create jobs. Our correspondent covers the launching ceremony under the boiling sun.

    Israel is a country bathed in sun, possessing some of the strongest desert heat in the world.

    In the early 1970s, Israel became the first country to require that every rooftop install a solar power system to generate the energy needed to heat water.

    But despite that, Israel has never had a big solar power plant.

    Now, times are changing. The Arava Power company has finished construction of the country's first large solar facility—Ketura sun field—in the Negev Desert. It is producing five megawatts of power.

    [David Rosenblatt, Vice Chairman, Arava Power]:
    "The number of consumers that will benefit from that (new power plant) is anticipated to be 8,000, but the way that it works is that the field is directly connected to Israel's grid and the Israel electric company distributes the energy as needed."

    The Siemens corporation recently invested $15 million dollars in Israeli Arava, buying 40% of the company.

    [Ed Helfman, Chairman, Arava Power]:
    "They have invested enough money to get 40%, they have checked Israel and searched for the leading company in the field."

    Israel only needs around 22,000 megawatts of energy to power the entire country during peak hours.

    Since finding natural gas, interest in solar energy has taken a slight decline.

    But despite that, Arava Power is planning new solar projects.