The solar receiver weighting thousands tons is recently set on top of the 240m collecting tower of 121 MW Ashalim Solar Thermal Power Station in Israel’s Negev desert. Difficulties of construction is previously addressed and now the success of setting the heavy receiver becomes a milestone of the project which will be operational in late 2017.


Ashalim1 CSP tower station has a aperture area of 1,052,480 m² with approximately 50,500 computer-controlled heliostats tracking the sun on two axes and reflecting sunlight onto the very solar receiver set on earlier July.

It is set to generate 320 GWh each year, supporting 120,000 households and creating more than 1,000 jobs. Though being installed without a thermal storage system, the 3.15 km² field is equivalent to nearly 400 football fields, and has become a landscape in Israel’s Negev desert.

Bidding price of Ashalim1 is 0.79 NIS/kWh (about 0.22 USD/kWh), and total investment is 3 billion NIS (about 0.84 billion USD).

The Israel Ashalim project

The Ashalim project in Israel combines two CSP stations and one PV station, with a forth solar station on planning. Together, the fields will be Israel’s largest renewable energy project when completed by 2018, helping Israel achieve its goal of having 10 percent of its electricity production from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Ashalim1 CSP project (Ashalim Plot B) is under construction contact by Megalim Solar Power, a joint venture between BrightSource and General Electric (GE has bought Alstom, the company that BrightSource earlier partnered with). Ashalim1 is the second large-scale tower station that delivered by BrightSource since Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) in California’s Mojave Desert.

The 120MW Ashalim2 CSP project on the other hand is developed by Ashalim CSP, a joint venture of Israel Shikun and Binui Renewable Energy.

Setting up a receiver

How did the construction team overcome all the challenges and make it to set the receiver atopping a 240 m tower?

Following pictures may give us a clue.


image1: receiver assembled on the construction while the tower was not yet built above ground.


image2: applying the receiver


image3: tower was built above the ground


image4: receiver almost assembled


image5: birdview of the collecting tower and solar receiver


image6: lifting the receiver through inside tower


image7: the solar receiver has been successfully set on the top of collecting tower on the beginning of July


The above  images clearly shows us how the receiver was assembled on the construction site and applied on top of the collecting tower as a suit.

Usually there are two ways to apply a receiver on a tower, either lifting and setting it as a suit or lifting part by part then assembling on the tower top. Either way will need assembling on the construction site due to the difficulties in transporting commercial scale solar receiver.

While Western companies such as Abengoa often assemble the receiver on ground and then lift it up, Chinese companies prefer to do it the other way.