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Turkey has set the bar high in its efforts to promote the expansion of renewable energy resources with plans to commission 10GW of solar capacity by 2027 with domestically produced and locally sourced solar PV modules. Therefore, the government introduced the Renewable Energy Resource Areas (YEKA), a pipeline for renewable projects.
Kalyon Holding is playing a unique role to establish the foundation on which other YEKA projects in the Ministry of Energy’s pipeline can flourish in terms of technological obligations, technical specifications and sourcing requirements of the solar PV modules.
Kalyon Holding’s biggest challenge was not just building Europe’s biggest or even one of the world’s biggest power plants but to become a cornerstone of the emerging solar PV sector in Turkey.
Kalyon Holding overcame this challenge in three main steps:
An integrated solar PV manufacturing facility (Kalyon PV Factory) has been established with 500MW capacity in 2020 and increased its capacity to 1.2GW in 2021.
R&D centre has established to operate continuously for at least the next ten years.
The third and final step was to establish a 1.35GW solar power plant by using 100% brand-new modules which were domestically manufactured by the Kalyon PV Factory.
Kalyon Karapınar Solar Power Plant is the first project to be executed under new YEKA regime. This enormous project required an extensive design and construction process, followed by commissioning, operation and maintenance of the facility that delivers an installed capacity of 1.35 GW.
The sheer size of the project, stretching across approximately 20 million square meters (11km long – 3km wide, equivalent to over 2,600 football pitches), made this the largest solar power plant in Turkey and Europe’s largest power plant built on a single site.
This massive solar facility is expected to generate clean, green power for two million households in Turkey, eliminating at least 1.5 million tons of annual fossil fuel waste and harmful carbon emissions.
To meet Turkey’s growing power demands and to satisfy the government’s mandate for increased production of clean, abundant solar power, Kalyon secured a US$812m facility where US$291m was financed by J.P. Morgan Payments and UK Export Finance (UKEF).
Best practice and innovation
Kalyon Holding evidenced its technology and brand-new solar PV modules by obtaining international quality, performance and efficiency certificates. In addition, an Operations & Maintenance (O&M) company was established to operate the plant.
Kalyon’s experience across the solar value chain, starting from being solar PV manufacturer, EPC contractor, investor and O&M operator, reduces risks while delivering reliable, dependable, and cost-effective solutions. Its integrated approach to manufacturing, building, operating and maintaining facilities is unique in the industry. This strategy is sustainable because of the secured credit facility.
The UKEF facility specifically financed GE Renewable Energy’s innovative flexinverter solar technology for the project, making it the first time that this technology had been deployed outside of the US. The UKEF guarantee for this project was the largest ever issued for a solar project, which supports the UK meet its 2021 UN COP26 commitments, which facilitates trade for UK suppliers and the creation of UK jobs.
“Kalyon is poised to play a leading role in Turkey’s renewable energy industry. Our company holds a steadfast commitment to create innovative ways to build, operate and manage power plants that serve the citizens of Turkey and contributes to the government’s energy goals. We will build on the success we have achieved through the secured credit facility, setting the foundation for the creation of efficient energy sources for generations to come,” says Murathan Kalyoncu, Board Member, Kalyon Holding.