First Solar secures hat-trick of Turkish projects



US thin-film specialist, First Solar, has landed interconnection rights for three utility-scale solar PV plants in southern Turkey within the country’s latest bidding round.

First Solar was issued with the rights by Turkey’s electricity transmission company TEIAŞ under the country’s Renewable Energy Resources Support Mechanism (YEKDEM) programme, which ran its second and third round of tenders in late January.

Subject to the company receiving regulatory approval, First Solar will construct plants in the Turkish provinces of Muğla, Burdur, and Urfa with a combined capacity of 19MW AC.

First Solar expects the plants to produce an estimated 31.5 million kWh of electricity per year, enough to power some 14,000 average homes in the country, according to First Solar.

The company has not yet entered into a joint venture to build the plants and a spokeswoman could not confirm whether it was First Solar's intention to do so, describing the awards as “very early stage” at this moment in time.

“We entered the Turkish market less than twelve months ago with a strong belief in its potential to evolve into one of Europe’s first truly sustainable PV markets,” said Christopher Burghardt, vice president for Europe at First Solar, said.

“Our success in securing these connection rights vindicates our position and reinforces our confidence in the country and in the strength of its regulatory framework for renewable energy,” he added.

The second and third round of tenders in Turkey, held on the 29th and 30th of January, attracted considerable interest and awarded contracts for a total of 283MW of capacity, with the country expected to award further projects before the end of the year to bring that total up to 600MW.

Last week German firm Belectric’s Turkish joint venture revealed that it had been awarded tenders for its first two solar projects in the country, totaling 32.4MW.

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