GE and UKEF to develop Turkey’s largest solar project

Karapinar solar project. Credit: GE

GE and UK’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), have agreed to finance Kalyon Enerji’s 1.35GW Karapinar solar project located in the Konya Karapinar province, Turkey.

The Karapinar Solar Power Plant, part of Turkish renewables investor Kalyon Enerji’s solar portfolio, is approximately 11km long and 3km wide, equivalent to over 4,600 football pitches. It will prevent 1.5 million tons of carbon emissions annually and ultimately serve the needs of 2 million people.

As part of the agreement, UKEF will guarantee a $291 million Buyer Credit Facility, subject to financial close, and GE will deploy its solar technology, as well as ensure design, engineering, project management, site management, and commissioning of the project.

Guto Davies, Global Public Capital Leader at GE Energy Financial Services, said: “GE is proud to be partnering with UKEF again to deliver one of Turkey’s most significant renewable projects and GE’s first FLEXINVERTER solar power station technology outside the US.”

GE’s FLEXINVERTER solar power station combines a solar inverter, medium voltage power transformer, and an optional MV Ring Main Unit, integrated in a 20-feet ISO high cube container. The FLEXINVERTER is a key component of GE’s Renewable Hybrids FLEX portfolio, designed for multiple applications to enable dispatchable, green MWhs.

The integration of GE’s FLEXINVERTER solar technology and the assembly of the solar power station will take place in the UK, however, GE’s Grid Solutions site in Gebze, Turkey, will be producing the transformers for integration in the solar inverter system.

GE Renewable Energy has already completed the commissioning of the FLEXINVERTER solar power station technology for the 267MW Kalyon Enerji’s Karapinar phase I solar plant.

The project is part of the first Turkish solar YEKA tender launched in 2017 by the Turkish Ministry of Energy under the Renewable Energy Resources Zones (YEKA) program and will help Turkey expand its renewable resources.

Prakash Chandra, CEO of Renewable Hybrids at GE Renewable Energy, said: “There is tremendous potential for solar energy in Turkey which can be addressed through smart solutions that will help integrate this natural energy source into the grid in a reliable way and at utility-scale.”

International Trade Secretary and UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said: “With over £200 million ($269 million) worth of backing, we are helping to bring solar energy to two million Turkish households.

“Firm action from the UK alone is not enough to fight the climate crisis. 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.”

Financing for the project will be structured on a project finance basis and raised through J.P. Morgan as acting lead arranger and lender supported by the UKEF guarantee.

Author

  • John Engel is the Content Director for Renewable Energy World. For the past decade, John has worked as a journalist across various mediums -- print, digital, radio, and television -- covering sports, news, and politics. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife, Malia. Have a story idea or a pitch for Renewable Energy World? Email John at john.engel@clarionevents.com.

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