Turkish 1.35GW solar project lands financing deal from GE, UK government

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The Karapinar project is slated to be fully complete late next year. Image: Kalyon PV.

A 1.35GW solar project in Turkey, said to the country’s largest, has received a US$291 million financing deal from the UK government to help it proceed.

The Karapinar solar project is to be located in Turkey’s Konya Karapinar province and, having been contracted within the Turkish Ministry of Energy’s Renewable Energy Resources Zones (YEKA) programme, is now under development by energy firm Kalyon Enerji.

The project secured support within the YEKA programme in 2017, coming forward as part of a joint venture between Kalyon and ‘Solar Module Super League’ member Hanwha Q CELLS and striking a tariff of US$0.0699/kWh.

To support the project’s development, UK Export Finance, the UK government’s export credit agency, has agreed to guarantee a US$291 million buyer credit facility. This will contribute to a broader project finance package raised by international bank J.P Morgan, which acted as the lead arranger and lender.

UK Export Finance’s participation in the project financing is part of a deal signed with GE Energy Financial Services, a part of US-headquartered conglomerate GE.

In turn, GE is to deploy its Flexinverter solar technology as part of the project, with integration and assembly of the components set to take place in the UK with the aim of supporting around 100 jobs.

Another unit of GE, GE Grid Solutions, will produce transformers for the project in Gebze, Turkey, as part of domestic content regulations within the YEKA auction programme.

Design, engineering, project management, site management and commissioning services will also be provided by GE under the export contract. GE Renewable Energy said it had already completed commissioning of Flexinverter products for the 267MW first phase of the Karapinar project.

Full completion of the project is slated for late 2022.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the UK’s trade secretary, said UK Export Finance is “putting the UK at the heart of the global green energy transition.

“UKEF’s financing encourages other countries to invest in renewable energy and opens new markets for UK businesses that will power a recovery underpinned by green jobs,” she said.

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