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Migvan Photo: Lior Lapid
Migvan Photo: Lior Lapid
 
 

Sderot introduces first urban solar field

Members of Migvan urban kibbutz agree to 'plant' solar panel field on roofs; eco-venture yields 11% profit

Billie Frenkel
Published: 09.28.12, 08:05 / Israel Environment

Members of Migvan urban kibbutz, located in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, have decided to invest in a unique crop – solar energy.

 

The commune's houses are covered with solar panels, making them the location of Israel's first urban solar field, which produces electricity for its residents.

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Migvan was formed in 1987 and is currently home to 50 people.

 

The urban kibbutz adopted environmentally friendly principles from its inception, and has a large recycling center and a compost recycling facility, as well.

 

About three years ago, the members agreed to install small solar systems on their roofs, to manufacture their own power.

 

"We had a clear agenda then, to save electricity, to contribute what little we could to the environment and yes, to form a long-term savings account for the kibbutz," Migvan member Lior Lapid said.

 

Migvan was able to obtain a bank loan to finance the venture and soon installed 10 Sunpower systems.

 

In late April the systems went on the grid and started producing electricity.

 

Each rooftop system produced 4 kilowatts of power and together, they are expected to produce more than 70 kilowatts of electricity a year.

 

As it was soon discovered, the systems produced more electricity than Migvan needed, yielding an 11% return on their investment. The commune now hopes to pay off the bank loan it was given within 8-9 years.

 

"It's like having a savings account with a 12% return," Lapid said.

 

"The State should encourage these kinds of projects. There's plenty of sun and more than enough roofs. There's no need to take up open spaces for it."

 

 

 

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