Georgia plans solar field with Israel on its mind
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Georgia plans solar field with Israel on its mind

The US southeast will soon be getting at least a dozen such energy facilities, to be built by Israel’s Energiya

Field construction of a solar field is underway on land belonging to the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village for youth orphaned during and after the 1994 Rwandan genocide, located 60 km from the capital of Kigali. (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Field construction of a solar field is underway on land belonging to the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village for youth orphaned during and after the 1994 Rwandan genocide, located 60 km from the capital of Kigali. (Photo credit: Courtesy)

The southeast of the United States is set to get a taste of Israeli-style solar energy technology with the construction of a 17.68 megawatt solar project in Georgia.

It’s the first utility scale solar project in the southeastern US. The project will be built by the US affiliate of Israeli solar company Energiya, and will be funded by Energiya Global Capital, an international solar development firm headed by solar energy pioneer Yosef Abramowitz. The project is worth $30 million, Energiya Global Capital said.

The project, called Project Glynn, will be built on 79 acres in Glynn County, Georgia. The field will be built and ready to deliver electricity by December 31, 2015. In addition to building the solar field, Energiya USA is also creating a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiative program in conjunction with its partners for the local Glynn County school system. The program will include after-school enrichment programs with an emphasis on renewable energy.

Abramowitz has worked for years to promote the use of solar energy in Israel and around the world. Along with partners David Rosenblatt and Ed Hofland, he established Israel’s largest solar field to generate electricity in Kibbutz Ketura, and was the first to sign a deal with the Israeli government for commercial production of solar-generated electricity.

More recently, Abramowitz has set his sights on Africa, hoping to electrify far-flung villages where power cables are unlikely to ever reach. He established, along with partners David Rosenblatt and Howie Rodenstein, a new company called Energiya Global Capital to help develop projects in Rwanda and other African countries, along with partner Chaim Motzen. The company’s first project, an 8.5 megawatt solar field in Rwanda, has been completed, and a ribbon-cutting is set for later this month.

“Georgia Power is pleased to work with Energiya Global, and its U.S. affiliate, Energiya USA, as part of the Advanced Solar Initiative,” said Norrie McKenzie, vice president of Renewable Development, at the Georgia Power Company. “With a shared commitment to innovative, clean energy solutions, our customers will benefit from this partnership today and in the future.”

Besides being a “green” project, the new field is another example that showcases a flourishing American-Israeli business and technology partnership, said Opher Aviran, Consul General of Israel to the Southeast. “At a time when there is volatility in the world’s oil producing regions, Israel is proud to be on the forefront of the renewable energy revolution. The Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast is proud to be able to bring great partners like Energiya Global and Georgia Power together. This solar deal is a significant milestone in the long-standing, close relationship between Israel and the Southeast US.”

The Glynn Project is just the first of many, said David M. Herskovits, CEO of Energiya USA. “Project Glynn is the first of a dozen utility-scale solar projects that Energiya USA plans to launch in the Southeastern market. We are proud to partner with Georgia Power Company in the deployment of renewable energy in the region.”

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