In its first solar energy investment in Israel, Siemens has bought 40 percent of the Arava Power Company for $15 million.

Arava Power is a leader in photovoltaic systems for the generation of electricity. Kibbutz Ketura, where the company is headquartered, owns 40 percent of Arava Power and a group of US investors led by company president Yosef Abramowitz owns the rest.

Siemens is also in talks to acquire Israel’s Solel Solar Systems, which develops and manufactures solar thermal collectors and provides solar generated power.

Siemens and Arava Power signed a framework agreement to build solar power plants with a total capacity of 40 megawatts. The first project will be the construction of a 4.9-megawatt facility at Kibbutz Ketura.

Siemens president and CEO Peter Loscher said, “Israel is an ideal location to develop our solar business thanks to its strong sunlight and constant need for energy.”

Arava Power employs 20 and was founded in 2006.