Ayt Project


Project Ayit is a pumped-storage hydroelectricity (PSH) power plant, located at Mount Ayit, in southern part of the Negev desert, referred to in the following as the “Arava” or “Eilat-Eilot Region”. Project Ayit is the most prestigious project in the portfolio of Solaer, which on its own has the potential to elevate the company from a PV developer to a significant player in the Israel energy system. It is a highly innovative project, by combining renewable energy generation with utility scale storage providing a solution for an area which due to its geographic position is only weakly interconnected to the electricity system that is concentrated at central and northern Israel. The PSH method stores energy in the form of gravitational potential energy of water pumped from a lower elevation reservoir to a higher elevation. Water is pumped to the upper reservoir in times of excess energy and released to the lower reservoir when energy is required in the system, activating a water turbine.


The key function of project Ayit is load balancing. While the power plant can consume energy from the grid to pump water it is currently considered that it will be accompanied by a large-scale photovoltaic power plant which surplus energy will be used during peak sun time to run the pumps. This will allow to deliver renewable energy also during high demand hours at low insolation. With a response time of less than 12 seconds, the project is also able to contribute to the stabilization of the overall electricity grid in case of short-term failures at various power plants. .Eilat–Eilot Region consumes around 150 MW/hour in average throughout all the year. During the daytime the regional PV plants.
produce more energy than is consumed, therefore, feeding the central and northern grid. Due to the weakness of the interconnection, only 25% of the oversupply is used. From late afternoon till sunrise, IEC currently supports the regional electricity needs with long distance electricity supply. Due to the remote location of the region it is estimated that IEC losses account for around NIS 30m per year not including balancing costs and other. The water used for the Project is taken from lightly salted ground water abundantly available in the region with currently no use for agricultural purposes or other. The site at Mount Ayit has been selected in cooperation with Poyry on the basis of geological surveys, statutory analysis, water sourcing, and discussions with relevant regional stakeholders and the electricity authorities
Based on these features, Project Ayit has gained strong support across the board from the regional administration to the same extent as from national authorities and Israel Electric Corporation as system manager. The Project’s intellectual property is shared between Voith Hydro from Austria and Solaer. In summary, the companies managed to create a combined off-grid PV system with an efficient storage that enables to use cheap solar energy on a 24/7 basis in the Arava / Eilat-Eilot region




A pumped storage infrastructure would turn Eilat and Central Arava into an independent power microgrid, and would cut energy cost at this area in as much as 30%, cut carbon footprint in 60%, eliminate constant losses to IEC, and provide work opportunities for the residents of the area. The cost of local power production using the methanol turbine in Eilat is almost double than the cost of gas or coal based power plant, so IEC uses this turbine as a backup in case of backbone failure, and to balance the network, but would rather use it as little as possible. Israeli government traditionally aims to allow a

planned 12% on capital for national infrastructure developers, and in practice, in most cases the developers reach a much better margin. The project is expected to cost around 250,000,000 Euro, and capital requirements are estimated around 50M Euro. The project is currently supported and in consensus by all relevant major parties (IEC, government, local municipalities, and environmental organizations), and it is about to receive a conditioned license in the next few months. Once such license is provided the project can be designed in detail, approved by the national planning committee, financially closed, and built. Estimated time for project completion is 4-7


Currently we are about to file a request for a conditioned license.

Next Milestones:

  • Request Review – The Request will be reviewed and approved by the Israeli Electric Authority and by the Minister of Infrastructure. The process is estimated to take around 3-4 months.
  • National Infrastructure Committee Approval – Once a conditional license is provided, a request that includes the detailed design of the project will be filed to the National Infrastructure Committee.
  • A review and approval of such request may take 12-24 months. Financial Closing – Once the NIC approve the project, and agreements with all contractors and subcontractors are concluded, a financial closing is possible.
  • Construction – expected to take 48-60 months

June 2023

Commercial Operation

April 2019 

Financial Closing

January 2018 

Project Approvals and Design

regulatory review

  • Acquire only basic availability produced from the pumped storage– payment is made with accordance to a variable rate for conventional open-cycle producer (about 4 agorot)
  • full dynamic and planned availability of benefits – the position is for the system administrator only for 8,760 hours a year for at least six years and in relation to cumulative production of up to ~800 MW installed in at least two separate location (“purchase rate including benefit”)

Normative operational parameters per pumped storage production unit that a manufacturer must meet in order to allow maximum dynamic availability:

  • Minimum dynamic availability – 94% in the first year, 95% in the second year, and 96% from the third year for operation of unit
  • Minimum duration of continuous full-power to generate electricity of production unit – 8 Hours
  • Minimum efficiency of the unit – 76%
  • Maximum load shedding time – 0.1 sec
  • Maximum required time from open source condition (Turbine dipper inwater) and synchronized until start of generation (churning period) – 12 sec
  • Minimum load rate of change from partial load to full load (RAMP RATE) – 2.5% of the installed load of the unit per second
  • Pumping rate / maximum number of hours to fill the upper reservoir – 10.7
  • Minimum production load – Shall not exceed 50% of the installed load