Israel’s heat wave peaked Wednesday afternoon, with temperatures reaching highs of 116°F (47°C) in several areas across the country.
Temperatures were highest in the Arava and the Jordan Valley, as well as in the Galilee and the Judean Mountains. Temperatures were expected to drop slightly on Thursday, and are expected to cool by the weekend. Typical July weather is expected to return by Saturday.
Despite the massive heat in the Arava and Jordan Valley, humidity levels would not climb past 20%. On the other hand, coastal temperatures are slated to reach 91°F (33°C) with humidity levels reaching 70%.
According to Meteo-Tech weatherman Nahum Malik, Israel has absorbed a heat wave whose origin is a direct hot air stream from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Such air streams usually reach Israel through different routes which often cool down over the Mediterranean Sea and bring about the July-August heat wave Israelis have become accustomed to.
The Israel Meteorological Service published an estimation that despite the unusual length of the current heat wave, it would not break the temperature record set in August 2010.
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Ormat Technologies announced Tuesday that its wholly owned subsidiary, Ormat Nevada Inc has finalized a $61.4 million engineering, procurement and construction deal with Enel Green Power North America.
Ormat owns and operates geothermal and recovered energy-based power plants around the world, as well as designs, manufactures and sells geothermal and recovered energy power units and other power-generating equipment.
Enel Green Power North America owns and operates renewable energy plants in North America with projects operating and under development in 21 US states and three Canadian provinces.
According to a company press release, the contract will see Israel-based Ormat provide two air-cooled energy converters to Enel Green, which will be installed in the latter’s Cove Fort geothermal power plant in southern Utah.
Enel Green acquired the Utah facility in 2007. The company is planning to construct a new geothermal power plant with an installed capacity of up to 65 megawatts and the first phase of the project is expected to be commercially operating by the end of 2013.
The Cove Fort plant will use an air-cooled binary system, also known as a closed-loop system, to generate electrical power.
The deal has had prompted Ormat to announced that its product backlog has “increased by an additional $52 million to a total of approximately $260 million, most of which is expected to be recognized as revenues through 2013.”
Yoram Bronicki, president and COO of Ormat, added: “This development will incorporate Ormat’s low-operating-cost design and our consistent project completion standards.
“We’ve had great success in deploying similar equipment to a myriad of projects worldwide and we intend to continue reinforcing this track record in established and new markets.”
Web surfers may soon be able to speed down the Information Superhighway free of charge in most public places in Tel Aviv.
The Tel Aviv municipality plans to make free wireless Internet available all over the city. The municipal finance committee voted yesterday to allocate NIS 6 million to the initiative. The full city council is expected to give the plan a green light at its next meeting.
The decision comes after a successful pilot program that provided free, unlimited Internet usage on Ben-Gurion Boulevard and at the Gordon Beach for the past year.
The city will now lay down the infrastructure for broadband connections all along the coast, on major boulevards, in public parks and playgrounds, at commercial centers and along main roads. The bandwith will allow for basic Internet usage, not the uploading or downloading of heavy files. The municipality plans to block pornography and gambling sites, as well as any site that promotes violence.
The project’s initiator, city councilman Alon Solar, of the Rov Hair party, said the benefit to the public from the project outweighs its cost.
“In the era of the smartphone and laptop, most of us want to be uninterruptedly available and connected,” Solar said. “It’s important that the municipality be attentive to its residents’ needs, adapt itself to the city’s dynamism, and provide residents and visitors with more than just the expected basic services.”
Tel Aviv is not the first city to offer free wireless Internet to the public; Jerusalem made it available in the downtown area back in 2004 and Haifa installed a similar system on its Dado Promenade in 2008. But Tel Aviv will apparently be the first city to offer free Internet on such a broad scale.