The Defense Ministry’s Engineering and Construction Division on Thursday announced the successful completion of the installation of solar energy panels in HaKirya compound in the heart of Tel Aviv, as part of a broad energy efficiency program in IDF bases.
HaKirya contains the Tel Aviv District’s government center and the major IDF base, Camp Rabin. It was established as one of the first IDF bases in 1948 and has served as the IDF’s headquarters since.
Much of the Kirya today is located on the lands of Sarona, a German Templer settlement founded in the 19th Century. In World War II, the British forces took control of Sarona and converted it into a prison camp for German nationals. After the war, the German prisoners were deported, mostly to Australia, and Sarona became a British military and police base. The base was the site of the first-ever open Haganah attack on a British installation.
Being located in a dense urban environment, HaKirya base serves mainly command, administrative, communications, and support functions.
HaKirya compound joins 23 bases around the country where solar panels have already been installed, and by the middle of 2021, the Defense Ministry is expected to install them in an additional 27 bases.
Upon completion of the overall works, the plan is expected to save about NIS 16 million ($5 million) annually.
In related news, HaKirya this week bid farewell to its mythological antenna. Decades after it had been placed on the roof of the Defense Ministry’s headquarters building and became part of the landscape of the Kirya compound in Tel Aviv, the old antenna was removed Sunday morning. Dozens of people took part in the complex logistical operation. A giant crane hoisted the antenna to a height of several dozen feet and carefully lowered it to the ground.