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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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