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Tue, Feb

The highlight of the "Green Knesset" Project: The unveiling of the largest solar field in any parliament in the world

Typography

In the past few weeks, giant cranes have unloaded some 1,500 solar panels onto the Knesset's (the Israeli parliament) roofs. These panels were created especially for the Knesset's solar field, which is laid out over 4,650 square meters of the Knesset roofs and will have an installed capacity of 450 kilowatts. The solar array, which cost the Knesset NIS 2.4 million, will create some 10% of the Knesset's electricity, and together with additional energy-saving measures, it will help reduce the Knesset's energy use by a third.

The solar array is expected to save the Knesset NIS 300,000 every year. It will operate according to the net-metering method, under which electric energy generated by an electric consumer from an eligible on-site generating facility and delivered to the local distribution facilities may be used to offset electric energy provided by the electric utility to the electric consumer during the applicable billing period. The Knesset's solar array will be the first of any national institution to operate according to this method. Director General of the Knesset, Mr. Ronen Plot, hopes that other government institutions and local authorities will follow suit and establish solar fields of their own.

In the past few weeks, giant cranes have unloaded some 1,500 solar panels onto the Knesset's (the Israeli parliament) roofs. These panels were created especially for the Knesset's solar field, which is laid out over 4,650 square meters of the Knesset roofs and will have an installed capacity of 450 kilowatts. The solar array, which cost the Knesset NIS 2.4 million, will create some 10% of the Knesset's electricity, and together with additional energy-saving measures, it will help reduce the Knesset's energy use by a third.

The solar array is expected to save the Knesset NIS 300,000 every year. It will operate according to the net-metering method, under which electric energy generated by an electric consumer from an eligible on-site generating facility and delivered to the local distribution facilities may be used to offset electric energy provided by the electric utility to the electric consumer during the applicable billing period. The Knesset's solar array will be the first of any national institution to operate according to this method. Director General of the Knesset, Mr. Ronen Plot, hopes that other government institutions and local authorities will follow suit and establish solar fields of their own.

A year ago, in January of 2014, the Knesset launched the first part of its Green Knesset project. The project is thought of as the flagship project of Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein. It consists of 13 approved and budgeted advanced projects for saving energy and water. The Knesset has invested NIS 7 million in all, and the yearly savings that will come from the project are estimated at NIS 1.5 million a year. All of the projects that were approved are economically viable and the project should pay for itself within five years.

The Green Knesset project includes not just the establishment of a solar field for the creation of electricity from renewable energy, but also the installation of thousands of LED lights, installing a new chiller in the energy center whose residual heat will be used to heat water, automatic shutdown of computers at the end of every workday, a review of the Knesset's water usage for gardening purposes and changing to a more economical irrigation model and the desalination of the condensation of the air conditioning systems and using them for irrigation. In addition to the monetary savings, the energy savings will reduce the carbon output and therefore the carbon footprint of the Knesset.

The yearly savings will be transferred to the "Green Fund" which will be designated for the continuation of the "Green Knesset" project (for the creation of new initiatives). The Knesset's Operations Division worked throughout 2014 in order to effectively complete most of the projects planned as part of the project's initial phase. 

Read more about the solar field installation at ENN.com.

Image credit: Green Knesset.