JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s Public Utility Authority granted the first-ever license for a solar project in the Bedouin community that is being funded by the U.S. government.
The license was granted Monday for the solar energy field, which will be built in the northwest Negev.
Through the U.S. government’s Overseas Private Investment Corp., the Obama administration has pledged to cover 80 percent of the $30 million required to build the solar field installation.
The Arava Power Company signed a contract more than a year ago with the Bedouin Tarabin family.
"It is a dream come true for the Bedouin population, as solar energy will provide fixed sources of income and economic benefit to the Bedouin in the Negev," community leader Haj Musa Tarabin said. "I hope that there will be many more solar projects to come for our community."
Arava in the past year has signed five contracts with Bedouin families to build solar projects.