Brenmiller Energy raises NIS 44m in institutional IPO

Trading in the company’s shares is scheduled to begin next week.

Startup Brenmiller Energy yesterday took an important step towards the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) by completing the part of its offering for financial institutions. The company raised NIS 44 million at the minimum price of NIS 17 per share set in the tender, at a company value of NIS 150 million, before money.In the public stage, which will take place next Wednesday, the company will attempt to raise NIS 16 million more, and trading in Brenmiller’s shares is slated to begin next week. Leumi Partners Ltd.and Epsilon Investment House Ltd. led the offering.

As part of the offering, company founder and owner Avi Brenmiller will convert a NIS 124 million owner’s loan he granted to the company into capital (one share), subjection to completion of the issue on the way to becoming a public company. Before the issue, Brenmiller Energy has a NIS 117 million equity deficit.

Read More: http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-brenmiller-energy-raises-nis-44m-in-institutional-ipo-1001199388 

An Israeli company cracked the biggest problem with solar technology

Israel’s Brenmiller Energy said on Monday it would build a 300 million shekel ($77.27 million) solar-power field using an energy-storage technology that will generate electricity for about 20 hours a day.

 

The 10-megawatt field, to be built on about 110 acres (45 hectares) in the desert town of Dimona in southern Israel, will combine existing solar thermal technology with an underground system that stores heat for use at night.

Brenmiller Energy said it hoped to complete the field in early 2017 and would then sell electricity through the grid. During the four hours of the day in which solar energy is insufficient, the company said it would use biomass to produce power.

The company already has a working proof-of-concept for the storage system.

A spokesman said Brenmiller Energy would fund the 10-megawatt project itself, in part to help promote the system to clients worldwide.

Brenmiller was a cofounder and chief executive of Solel Solar, a producer of concentrated solar-power fields that was bought by Siemens in 2009 for $418 million.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-israeli-company-to-build-20-hour-per-day-solar-power-plant-2015-2#ixzz3RQtqLmpP

CSP Today interviews Avi Brenmiller, President and CEO of Brenmiller Energy

In a market that has to ensure that dispatchable power is available at all times, Brenmiller Energy an innovative solar company, provides a modular solar steam generation product for power generation applications.

CSP Today speaks to Avi Brenmiller, CEO of Brenmiller Energy, about scalable solutions for both large and smaller users, price competitiveness, steam augmentation and how the technology fits into the South African landscape.

 

CSP Today: What is unique about the CSP technology developed by Brenmiller Energy?

When we started the development process of our product, I set three challenges which our product had to overcome:

  • Scalability – the ability to create a scalable solution that can accommodate both large and smaller users. This is the main challenge of the previous technologies as the facilities required do not really make economic sense below 50MWe level.
  • Power availability – for solar power to become a true alternative to base load, we need the ability to dispatch the power when it is most needed, be it early morning or late afternoon, as determined by the user.
  • Price competiveness – ability to compete with existing technologies on a like for like basis. In the case of CSP, this would mean a comparison on each area required, i.e. for a square meter of collector area, how much energy is generated.

I am proud to say that we have accomplished all we set out to do.

The basic building block of the system is the bCell™. This is an autonomous solar cell that can generate between 1.5 and 2.5MWe (depending on ambient conditions). The fact that each cell can operate as a stand-alone unit, removes any scalability risk and further simplifies the integration to the power block (if required).

The bCell™ has a built-in storage capability. The system uses a unique heat transfer medium as well as a unique storage solution that allows the power to be stored for a long period of time and dispatched when required. An additional major breakthrough is that we are able to reach a solar capacity factor of more than 50% without the risks inherent in the thermal oil and molten salt based solution. The system also has a built-in hybrid mechanism, allowing for a combination of other technologies (fossil, biomass or other) and can thus provide 100% of the user’s energy requirements.

Above all, we out perform any other solar technology in the price per kWh. This is achieved through applying mass production techniques in every stage of the design process, which allow for significant cost reductions compared to existing designs. For example, because we use a rail system to move the units into position, both our civil works component and environmental impact are significantly reduced compared to conventional technologies. Elements such as these, combined with greater efficiencies, drive the cost per kWh down and allow us to compete even with PV based technology.

 

CSP Today: At what stage is the technology?

The technology is well advanced in the development and testing cycle. Throughout the development cycle, it was key to us to ensure the technology is bankable. As such we sought ways to not “reinvent the wheel” but used the same building blocks that were used in the SEGS projects in California in the 1980’s, which I was personally involved in, and as the CEO of Solel/Siemens CSP from 1997.

When we talk about a CSP plant, we talk about two main components. The solar filed, which generates heat and the power block that converts the heat into steam and feeds it into the turbine. Whilst the integration between the two parts is a key risk in the conventional CSP technologies, our system simplifies the process and removes any “Integration Risk”. With thermal generation technology well established, our distributed generation concept means that each bCell™ delivers stable steam at turbine conditions according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

We have a fully operating demo plant, which is comprised of a full steam generation unit, at our test site in Israel, where we can demonstrate the results of the measured steam conditions.

 

CSP Today: How does this technology fit into the African landscape?

Through our representatives in Africa, Cresco Energy, we believe we can offer the unique features of the technology and the promise it holds for Africa. I will give three examples.

Firstly, the distributed generation concept means that it is now possible to provide rural communities with cost effective power. From the utility perspective this means that instead of deploying hundreds of kilometres of transmission lines (and the associated losses) in order to serve a small community, they can erect a solar plant with minimal environmental impacts, which will provide 100% of the power requirements of the community. Not only will this contribute to the rural development, but the plant itself will create local jobs in the operation and maintenance phase.

Secondly, our technology can be used for “Steam Augmentation”. As is often the case in Africa, utilities often have legacy plants that they have to continue operating or have to resort to very expensive power in order to allow the economy to grow. If an economy is growing at 7-8% per annum, the local utility is probably under massive pressure to “keep up” and can’t afford the time, or in some cases the budget, of building new, cost effective power plants. With our technology, we can provide steam to an existing turbine at the specified conditions. By reducing the fossil fuel demand and associated cost, we can free up budget to be applied elsewhere, for example in improving transmission infrastructure.

The last example relates to the mining industry. As is often the case, mining requires substantial power for its normal operations, whether this is used for cooling or for processing of product. Our ability to provide the mines with cost competitive steam, frees up capacity that can be used for expansion. In the case of absorption chillers, as an example, this would be achieved through our system either providing the steam required for the cooling process, thus releasing electrical capacity, or reducing the fossil fuel related cost, freeing up capital.

Avi Brenmiller will be speaking at CSP Today South Africa 2014, taking place in Cape Town on the 8-9 April.

– See more at: http://social.csptoday.com/markets/csp-today-interviews-avi-brenmiller-president-and-ceo-brenmiller-energy#sthash.Fg4JlBQs.dpuf

Israeli firm looks to keep solar power generators running at night

solar power company, Brenmiller Energy, says it has developed a new, more efficient way to store heat from the sun that could give a boost to the thermal solar power industry by enabling plants to run at full capacity night and day.

By next year company founder Avi Brenmiller said he will have a 1.5 megawatt (MW), 15-acre (6-hectare) site in the Negev desert connected to Israel’s national grid, and a number of 10 to 20-MW pilots abroad are expected to follow, which will produce electricity at a price which competes with power from fossil-fuelled plants.

“A couple of years from now, not later than that, we will be putting full-size commercial plants to work. Because the basic technology we use here is a bankable technology … I’m sure that banks will not hesitate to finance such projects,” he said.

Many have tried to find ways to keep solar thermal power generators running after dark, but current solutions have shortcomings and have not always proven cost-effective.

The direct generation of electricity by photovoltaic (PV) solar panels is a far more common way to convert solar energy than by using solar heat to fuel thermal power plants, which take up more space and are not suitable for small-scale applications such as residential homes.

But a row of parabolic mirrors now tracks the sun at Brenmiller’s research site in the searing Negev desert, concentrating the rays to generate the steam needed to drive a turbine for producing electricity.

It is a technique that has been used for years but in addition to immediately generating steam some of the solar heat is also conducted by a fluid into a novel storage system buried beneath the mirrors which operates at 550 degrees Celsius.

This store can then be tapped at night or on cloudy days to keep the steam supply to the turbines flowing night and day, said Avi Brenmiller, chief executive of Brenmiller Energy.

The innovation is in the cement-like medium that stores the heat, a technology that Brenmiller says is more efficient than other systems on the market, such as those using molten salt, which has severe price and operational drawbacks.

“We will have this technology at conventional fuel prices with the same availability around the clock. I think that’s the major breakthrough here,” he said from the control room of the project, which he called a working proof of concept.

Brenmiller was a co-founder and chief executive of Solel Solar, a producer of concentrated solar power fields which was bought by Siemens in 2009 for $418 million but subsequently closed by the German group last year.

He has already poured $20 million of his own money into the latest venture over the past two years.

GRID PARITY

Energy storage can be a key to bridging the gap between energy supply and demand across the globe, the International Energy Agency said in a report earlier this year.

The primary hurdle is reaching “grid parity”, or the point at which electricity generated from renewable energy sources costs the same as electricity produced by fossil-fuelled power plants. That is when, experts believe, environmentally friendly energy conversion can take off.

Grid parity has been achieved in some places with PV panels but while direct electrical energy storage is possible with batteries, they are still relatively expensive, use potentially toxic materials and cannot be applied on a large scale.

Meanwhile some thermal concentrated solar power (CSP) plants have introduced molten salt storage facilities that store excess heat for use in the night, like Torresol Energy’s Gemasolar plant in Spain, but while it works it cannot match the cost of burning fossil fuels and depends on subsidies.

There are also technical drawbacks to using molten salt. The salt stores the high temperatures in liquid form, but if the heat drops below about 220 degrees Celsius, it will freeze, potentially ruining parts of the system.

This is not an issue for Brenmiller, he said, as he uses a solid cement-like storage medium in a structure which is buried about two meters below the mirrors.

He would not give any details on the storage medium’s composition but said the system was similar to storage facilities under development called thermocline systems, which enable the heat to be conducted in, stored and conducted out again in a single tank, which is less costly than having to use two tanks to separate the hot and cold conducting fluids.

“In my understanding, there is no other technology like it in the world,” said Amit Mor, chief executive of Israel-based consulting and investment firm Eco Energy and a former energy adviser to the World Bank. “It can be very useful to developing countries and developed countries alike.”

An hour of sun produces enough energy to sustain three hours of equivalent electricity generation, Brenmiller said, and with every 24 hours of storage, 5 percent of the heat is lost.

It costs three times more to build than a conventional PV plant which can achieve grid parity during sunlight hours, but because it produces three times as much energy, the price of electricity is also at grid parity, he said.

In the United States and Israel, he expects electricity produced by the system to cost 12 cents per kilowatt hour, on a par with the average cost of grid electricity.

Israeli Firm Says It Can Keep Solar Power Plants Running At Night

An Israeli solar power company, Brenmiller Energy, says it has developed a new, more efficient way to store heat from the sun that could give a boost to the thermal solar power industry by enabling plants to run at full capacity night and day.

By next year company founder Avi Brenmiller said he will have a 1.5 megawatt (MW), 15-acre (6-hectare) site in the Negev desert connected to Israel’s national grid, and a number of 10 to 20-MW pilots abroad are expected to follow, which will produce electricity at a price which competes with power from fossil-fuelled plants.

“A couple of years from now, not later than that, we will be putting full-size commercial plants to work. Because the basic technology we use here is a bankable technology … I’m sure that banks will not hesitate to finance such projects,” he said.

Many have tried to find ways to keep solar thermal power generators running after dark, but current solutions have shortcomings and have not always proven cost-effective.

The direct generation of electricity by photovoltaic (PV) solar panels is a far more common way to convert solar energy than by using solar heat to fuel thermal power plants, which take up more space and are not suitable for small-scale applications such as residential homes.

But a row of parabolic mirrors now tracks the sun at Brenmiller’s research site in the searing Negev desert, concentrating the rays to generate the steam needed to drive a turbine for producing electricity.

It is a technique that has been used for years but in addition to immediately generating steam some of the solar heat is also conducted by a fluid into a novel storage system buried beneath the mirrors which operates at 550 degrees Celsius.

This store can then be tapped at night or on cloudy days to keep the steam supply to the turbines flowing night and day, said Avi Brenmiller, chief executive of Brenmiller Energy.

The innovation is in the cement-like medium that stores the heat, a technology that Brenmiller says is more efficient than other systems on the market, such as those using molten salt, which has severe price and operational drawbacks.

“We will have this technology at conventional fuel prices with the same availability around the clock. I think that’s the major breakthrough here,” he said from the control room of the project, which he called a working proof of concept.

Brenmiller was a co-founder and chief executive of Solel Solar, a producer of concentrated solar power fields which was bought by Siemens in 2009 for $418 million but subsequently closed by the German group last year.

He has already poured $20 million of his own money into the latest venture over the past two years.

Israeli firm makes solar power at night (Video)

Israeli firm Brenmiller Energy aims to solve the conundrum of producing solar power at night with a new energy storage system that it says is an alternative to other solar technologies and will help provide clean electricity at a competitive price. Jim Drury reports.

Solar energy could dominate electricity by 2050 – IEA 29/09/2014

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Solar energy could be the top source of electricity by 2050, aided by plummeting costs of the equipment to generate it, a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the West’s energy watchdog, said on Monday.

IEA Reports said solar photovoltaic (PV) systems could generate up to 16 percent of the world’s electricity by 2050, while solar thermal electricity (STE) – from “concentrating” solar power plants – could provide a further 11 percent.

“The rapid cost decrease of photovoltaic modules and systems in the last few years has opened new perspectives for using solar energy as a major source of electricity in the coming years and decades,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels constitute the fastest growing renewable energy technology in the world since 2000, although solar is still less than 1 percent of energy capacity worldwide.

The IEA said PV expansion would be led by China, followed by the United States, while STE could also grow in the United States along with Africa, India and the Middle East.

(Reporting by Sarah McFarlane; Editing by David Holmes)

Brenmiller Energy to Start Israeli Pilot

Brenmiller Energy, an Israeli solar-thermal developer founded last year, plans to start operating a pilot plant in December that will use fuel cells to store power.

Testing will run as long as three months while the Tel Aviv-based company works to raise $50 million for a full-scale factory and marketing, Chief Executive Officer Avi Brenmiller said by phone. “We want to commercialize and industrialize.”

Solar-thermal power, or concentrated solar, plants use mirrors that focus sunlight to produce steam and drive turbines. Unlike photovoltaic plants, which run intermittently, they can store energy, supplying customers around the clock. Fuel cells differ from standard storage systems, which use molten salts.

Brenmiller Energy’s storage technology will be less expensive than competitors’ because the materials used are cheaper, the CEO said, declining to identify them. The executive is the former head of Solel Solar Systems, acquired by Siemens AG in 2009 for about $400 million.

Israel is expanding its solar industry to meet electricity demand while curbing reliance on fossil fuels. While some solar-thermal plants are added on to operating power stations, demand for stand-alone facilities has grown in off-grid rural areas.