Alstom, BrightSource and the NOY Infrastructure & Energy Investment Fund have secured funding for the construction of a 121 MW solar thermal power plant in Israel.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Bank Hapoalim will help to fund the €760 million project, which is being developed by Megalim Solar Power Ltd., a special vehicle owned by the project partners. The loan agreement marks financial close of the project.

The Ashalim power plant will be built in the Western Negev Desert, 35 km south of the city of Beer Sheva. The finance deal follows the signing of a power purchase agreement (PPA) between the State of Israel and Megalim Solar Power in November 2013.

Alstom will undertake the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for the plant and will also assume operation and maintenance (O&M) duties for 25 years. Brightsource will provide the solar field technology.

The plant is being developed on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis and will contribute to the objectives of the Mediterranean Solar Plan, according to the EIB. Israel has also set a target for renewable energy to account for ten per cent of its electricity generating capacity by 2020.

The Ashalim project will feature BrightSource’s concentrating solar power (CSP) tower technology similar to that used at the Ivanpah project in southern California. More than 50 000 computer-controlled heliostats or mirrors will track the sun in two axes and reflect sunlight onto a boiler on top of a 240 m tower.