April 26, 2009

Israeli company ZenithSolar has launched a new solar farm at Kibbutz Yavne, in Israel’s south, that will provide cheap and efficient alternative energy and hot water to the 250 families living there.

The company, which was founded in 2006, says its solar panels and energy dish can transform 75 percent of the sunlight it absorbs into electricity and hot water at a cost of 8.6 cents per kilowatt hour. Conventional solar panels that generate electricity from sunlight do so with less than 15% efficiency, and cost more than double.

The company says that in peak conditions, its system can provide energy to customers at the same price as traditional fossil fuels, but without any of the negative effects on the environment.

The commercial pilot stands on a half-acre plot at the edge of the kibbutz. Sixteen units, each with two 11 sq. meter dishes containing 1,200 small mirrors, harvest sunlight. The pilot will serve as a model for further solar farms that could serve small or even large cities.

Within two years, the Ness Ziona company hopes to be able to produce cheap small units for private homeowners.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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