Israel's Megalim solar thermal power plant starts operations

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - The Megalim solar thermal power plant, a joint venture of BrightSource, GE Renewable Energy and the Noy Fund, said on Wednesday it has begun commercial operation in Israel’s Negev desert.

The 3 billion shekel ($839 million) project was announced in 2008 and construction began at the end of 2014 under the leadership of GE Renewable Energy. The technology uses 50,600 mirrors spread over a 3 square kilometer site.

Megalim’s thermo-solar station will provide electricity to supply about 50,000 households at peak. It is one of three facilities in Ashalim that are expected to produce about 2 percent of Israel’s electricity capacity.

($1 = 3.5768 shekels)

Reporting by Tova Cohen, Editing by Ari Rabinovitch