The Kokhav Hayarden power project is a 344MW pumped storage hydroelectric power station under construction near the Jordan Star (Kokhav Hayarden) National Park in Israel.
Hutchison Water, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison Holdings, in partnership with Noy Fund, a privately-held energy and infrastructure investment company based in Israel, is developing the project through a special purpose company (SPC) named Star Pumped Storage.
The £422m ($600m) project is being developed on a design-build-own-operate (DBOO) basis. The construction works on the project were started in December 2016, with the start of commercial operations expected by 2021.
Once operational, the Kokhav Hayarden pumped storage facility, together with the nearby 300MW Gilboa pumped storage power plant, is intended to provide flexible back-up power and stability to the National Grid of Israel.
Location and site details
The Kokhav Hayarden pumped storage hydroelectric facility is located in Kokhav Hayarden near Beit She'an, approximately 120km away from Tel Aviv, in north-eastern Israel.
The project site lies in the Gilboa Mountains, approximately 20km away from the Gilboa pumped storage facility that began operations in 2020.
Kokhav Hayarden dams and reservoirs details
The pumped storage project features a 25m-high and 1.8km-long earthfill upper dam, while the lower dam will be a rockfill concrete dam measuring 1.7km long and 18m high.
The upper and lower reservoirs of the project will have a water storage capacity of three million cubic metres (Mcm) each. The difference in height between the reservoirs will be 450m.
Kokhav Hayarden pumped storage power plant make-up
The Kokhav Hayarden pumped storage plant will be equipped with two General Electric (GE) 172MW Francis turbines and pump units in an underground powerhouse cavern.
The underground waterways include a 755m-long and 5.5m-diameter, concrete-lined headrace tunnel, a 670m-high and 4m-diameter steel penstock, and a 1.6km-long and 5.5m-diameter tailrace tunnel.
The project involves a total of 5.5km of underground tunnels, as well as a transformer cavern, along with a 161kV switching station and other auxiliary systems on the surface.
The electricity generated by the Kokhav Hayarden pumped storage power plant will be evacuated into the Israeli power grid through a 161kV transmission line.
The Kokhav Hayarden hydropower project is being financed through a consortium of two Israeli banks, namely Hapoalim and Leumi.
Contractors involved in the Israeli pumped storage project
A joint venture of Chinese state-owned Sinohydro and Powerchina Huadong Engineering is the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for the Kokhav Hayarden pumped storage power project.
GE Renewable Energy was awarded a turnkey contract for the design, manufacturing, supply, and installation of the entire electro-mechanical and hydromechanical equipment along with the balance of plant (BOP) equipment for the project in August 2017. The contractual scope also includes a 20-year operation and maintenance agreement for the plant.
Hutchison Water engaged Pietrangeli to provide engineering services during the feasibility study, final design, and the preparation of the tender documents for the project in 2013.
The Sinohydro and Huadong Engineering joint venture subcontracted Geodata for the geoengineering design consultancy services, while the Grenoble Institute of Technology (Grenoble INP) of France was engaged for performance acceptance tests (PAT) services for the project.
Beijing SOIL Instruments supplied geotechnical monitoring equipment, while Israel-based ADI Measurement and Engineering provided automatic total station (ATS) devices to monitor irregular trends during excavation works for the project.
Kokhav Hayarden pumped storage station background
The Kokhav Hayarden pumped storage power project had received a conditional license from the Electricity Authority of Israel in 2014.
The project was initially undertaken by a joint venture between the Tahal Group, a subsidiary of Kardan Group, and Hutchison Water. Noy Fund acquired 40.5% stake in the project from the Tahal Group in 2017.