ISRAELI COMPANY RESOLVES NATIONAL RESOURCE CHALLENGES IN GENERATING RENEWABLE ENERGY
Aquate Group Ltd. signs landmark agreement with Chevrat Moshve Hanegev to increase national water resources, enable increased agricultural production in the Negev, and generate clean energy without exploiting land
Aquate’s infrastructure investment will total approximately NIS 300,000,000 (U.S. $80 million)
Through Aquate’s reservoir enhancement services the four Chevrat Moshve Hanegev reservoirs can increase their total water availability by 900,000 cubic meters of water each year
Aquate’s infrastructure will add 1500 dunams [now defined as exactly one decare (1000 m²)] of irrigated agricultural land in the Negev
Aquate’s infrastructure, which is installed only on a reservoir’s water surface, will preserve over 460 dunams of land from exploitation
Aquate’s infrastructure will provide 16 megawatts of clean solar energy capacity
Aquate Group Ltd. (“Aquate”) and Chevrat Moshve Hanegev have entered into an unprecedented long-term cooperation agreement this week under which Aquate will provide Israel’s largest agricultural company with Aquate’s reservoir enhancement and clean energy infrastructure and services. Under the agreement, Aquate’s services will increase the volume and quality of water available for irrigation from Chevrat Moshve Hanegev reclaimed water reservoirs.
Aquate regional companies provide water reservoir enhancement and clean energy infrastructure and services throughout the world. Under this initial agreement in Israel, Aquate plans to invest NIS 300 million ($80 million). This investment by Aquate will increase the total amount of water available in the Chevrat Moshve Hanegev reservoirs, improve water quality in the reservoirs, enable the irrigation of new land devoted to agriculture, and prevent overuse of open areas.
Shimon Tal, Israel’s former Water Commissioner, Director of Aquate Group Ltd., and President of Aquate’s operations in Israel remarked, “Israel’s numerous irrigation reservoirs are critical to supporting agricultural production in Israel as well as to reducing pressure on supplies of drinking water. The services Aquate is providing Israel will produce clean electricity on a large scale and enhance the capacity of these reservoirs to support agricultural production without interfering with the operation of the reservoirs. The Aquate team has experience planning and installing cover systems on hundreds of reservoirs around the world, and that experience spans over more than thirty years. By implementing existing knowledge and methods in the design and installation of reservoir covers, we can provide a system-wide solution that will preserve and enhance the original designation of the reservoirs for agriculture.”
Aquate provides reservoir enhancement services by installing on water reservoirs a proprietary flexible floating cover, durable for twenty-five years or more, that incorporates photovoltaic cells and water quality monitoring and treatment systems. The company will begin installing reservoir enhancement and clean energy infrastructure and services in Israel this year.
“We believe that this cooperation is one of the most important ones we have undertaken,” said Ilan Peretz, CEO of Chevrat Moshve Hanegev. “For our company, Aquate’s reservoir enhancement infrastructure and services will prevent income loss that we have suffered in the past due to declining water quality and evaporation. At the local and national level, the Negev and Israel will benefit from increased agricultural outputs and an increase in water availability. Of equal importance, our farmers can proudly play a leading role in achieving the country’s ambitious renewable energy goals without having to relinquish precious farm land to do so.”
According to Barak Yekutiely, the Chairman and CEO of Aquate Group Ltd., “We believe this is the right approach to predictable development of large scale renewable energy sources that reduce dependence on fossil fuel generated electricity while increasing food and water supplies and preserving green open spaces. Aquate provides proven solutions that enhance and maintain national resources – in Israel’s case significantly increasing national water resources and agricultural output and protecting rather than exploiting scarce land for clean energy generation.”
* Aquate Group Ltd. develops sustainable assets on a global basis through regional operating companies that provide both climate change mitigation and adaptation services. Aquate’s regional operating companies deliver two primary services: reservoir enhancement to reservoir owners and operators and clean energy generation for electric utility companies. Through the delivery of these two bundled services, Aquate provides additional climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits such as reducing the need to build new power generation facilities on scarce agricultural land; promoting biodiversity; and stimulating increased agricultural production through greater availability of water at higher quality levels.
** Chevrat Moshve Hanegev is Israel’s largest agricultural company and is a partnership between 34 Moshavim which cultivate over 150,000 dunams. The company was established in 1958 and specializes in field crops (wheat, potatoes, peanuts, sunflower, chickpeas, corn and carrots), citrus fruits, almonds, pomegranates and more.
At Watec Israel, an international conference and exhibition on water technologies, renewable energy and environmental control, hosted from November 15-17 this year in Tel Aviv, Israeli national water company Mekorot agreed to a 20-year lease of a 100,000 square meter reservoir to Israel-based Aquate Group. Aquate specializes in floating reservoir covers that prevent a significant amount of the water from evaporating while providing a platform for renewable energy generation.
According to Aquate, the 20-year project with Mekorot will save 4 million cubic meters of water from evaporating and will create about 6 MW of clean power for the Israeli grid. Aquate will bear the operations and maintenance costs of the project.
“Signed in the national level and alongside national committees for assessing best options for green growth, this agreement may position Israel as a leading national actor that quantifies the economic costs of alternative solutions as well as conventional solutions with the aim of maximizing national long-term economic benefits,” said Aquate Group Marketing Communications Director Maya Ben Dror.