The Israel Land Authority (ILA) has written to the Ministry of Finance to request suspension of a tender for a 300 MW solar power plant in the Negev desert the ministry launched at the end of January, according to Israeli financial newspaper Globes.
The ILA, which supervises the 93% of Israeli territory which is owned by the state and leased to occupiers, is reportedly concerned the planned solar facility would occupy land needed for sand mining and thus threaten local industry. Globes reported the ILA is concerned any shortage of sand production could drive up construction costs.
The 750-acre PV project site is south-west of Dimona and features huge sand deposits the ILA would like exploited before the solar plant is constructed.
According to Globes, the ILA would be a participant in the solar tender, if it does proceed. Construction of what would be Israel’s largest solar plant is slated to begin in late 2021, with completion in 2023. The planned solar park – designated a national infrastructure project according to the business paper – would also include an unspecified amount of large scale storage capacity.