Reading Power Station

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Reading Power Station
Israel-2013-Tel Aviv 01-Reading Power Station.jpg
Reading Power Station, 2013
Reading Power Station is located in Israel
Reading Power Station
Location of Reading Power Station
Country Israel
Location Tel Aviv
Coordinates 32°6′10″N 34°46′44″E / 32.10278°N 34.77889°E / 32.10278; 34.77889Coordinates: 32°6′10″N 34°46′44″E / 32.10278°N 34.77889°E / 32.10278; 34.77889
Status Operational
Commission date 1938
Power generation
Primary fuel Natural gas
Units operational 6 X 50 MW (closed)
2 X 214 MW
Make and model General Electric
Nameplate capacity 428

The Reading Power Station is a natural gas fueled power station supplying electrical power to the Tel Aviv District in central Israel. It is in the northwestern part of the city at the mouth of the Yarkon River.

History[edit]

Turbine hall, 1939
Lord Reading and his wife visiting the Haifa Power Station in the 1930s

Reading power station was built in 1938, during the British Mandate for Palestine. It was the country's first turbine, with a capacity of 12 MW. It is named for Daniel Rufus Isaacs, 1st Marquess of Reading, a British statesman, Lord Chief Justice and Viceroy of India, who became chairman of the Palestine Electric Corporation (later the Israel Electric Corporation) in 1926.[1]

The architect of the building, Ed Rosenhak, designed a three-story central tower situated between two identical wings, with a large entrance facing the city.[2]

The power station is made up of number of power producing units. Two units called 'Reading A' and two units called 'Reading B', built in the 1950s, are capable of producing 50 megawatts each. Additional units, called 'Reading C' and 'Reading D' (each consisting of two units) were added in the 1970s.

'Reading A' was shut down in 1967, and has since been converted into a public exhibition area. 'Reading B' was closed down in 2004. 'Reading C' was shut down in 1981, and today contains a memorial for Yitzhak Rabin. At present only 'Reading D' is in operation, with each unit capable of producing 214 megawatts.

Environmental groups protested the contribution of the power station to air pollution in the Tel Aviv urban area and pollution of the Yarkon River. In early 2006, the station was partially shut down due to failure to comply with environmental regulations which required it to shift to natural gas instead of fuel oil as its main fuel source. Since then the station has reopened, and is now powered exclusively by natural gas, which has significantly reduced the amount of pollution emanating from the power plant.[3]

In 2009, a national government energy committee recommended upgrading the station's output to 750MW by adding a combined cycle turbine to the two thermal generating units, thus greatly increasing the station's efficiency, while at the same time introducing a plan to reduce the station's footprint, allowing for more public access to areas around the facility. The Tel Aviv municipality however strongly opposes this plan, demanding instead that the station be closed and relocated elsewhere in the country.

Restoration[edit]

The station features an impressive 1930s era architectural facade which has been restored to its original condition. A preservation project is under way to restore the main generating hall, Reading A, which dates from the 1950s. In 2011, a 60-dunam (15-acre) park was dedicated west of Reading with paved paths linking the site to Tel Aviv Port and the northern beach boardwalk.[4]

References[edit]