They include a 50MW solar project and a waste-to-energy power plant; will contribute to 20% renewable goal

top1_3-24Local government officials are in talks to deploy groundbreaking Israeli technology for two new projects that promise big economic and environmental benefits, Ofer Bavly, Israel’s Consul General to Florida & Puerto Rico, told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS.

Bavly and representatives from Yarotek LLC, a Florida-based “clean-tech” development firm that employs Israeli cleantech solutions, met with Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock and other officials last week regarding deployment of a 50-megawatt solar project and a waste-to-energy (WTE) project based on liquefaction rather than incineration.

“There is a great interest in these projects on the part of your government,” Bavly said. “We have been talking to officials in all of the concerned agencies.”

The solar-energy project would use solar thermal technology developed by Solel, an Israeli company recently acquired by Siemens, that produces cheaper power in less space than traditional solar technology, officials said.

Yarotek officials are analyzing alternative sites on public land. The site must be relatively flat, free of flooding and be near one of the strategic locations allowing for interconnection with the electricity grid of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa), Bavly said.

“We are analyzing alternative sites,” he said. “Once we solve the land issue, the project is fairly straightforward and should move ahead quickly.”

The Israeli delegation also met with the Puerto Rico Solid Waste Management Authority (SWMA) and other local officials regarding a proposed waste-management facility that would also produce energy.

Using technology developed by Arrow Ecology Ltd., rather than incinerating garbage to create energy, the process breaks down the waste by wetting it and then separating it into different components. Besides sorting the garbage, the process also produces natural methane gas, fertilizer, and water.

Supporters say the process, which is just now shifting from testing to the practical stage, is both cheaper and cleaner than other WTE processes.

As part of the mission, representatives from Tel Aviv University met with the University of Puerto Rico and Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico officials to discuss joint research projects in the cleantech fields as well as student and faculty exchanges, Bavly said.

The projects come as the local government implements two new laws that incentivize renewable-energy developments such as Yarotek’s to meet the island’s new Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The latter sets Puerto Rico on a course to generate 20% of its electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar and WTE by 2035.