UK firm pours 75 mln euros into Turkey wind plant, more under way

UK firm pours 75 mln euros into Turkey wind plant, more under way

RES Mediterranean CEO Armitano (C) poses for a photo with his Commercial Director Hopkins (L) and RES Anatolia Project Development Manager Özgül.

September 19, 2012, Wednesday/ 18:16:00/ ERGİN HAVA

UK-based res energy is set to construct a 48 megawatts (mw) wind energy plant in the Black Sea province of Samsun, part of a company goal to increase its wind capacity inside Turkey by between 50 and 100 MW per annum.

Construction for the planned plant in Samsun's Havza is to begin by mid-2014 and is expected to be finished in 2016. The 75 million euro Havza plant is the company's first investment in the Black Sea region, representing an interest in diversifying investments across the renewable energy-rich Anatolia. The RES Havza wind plant will produce 126 gigawatts (GW) of electricity per year, capable of meeting the electricity power needs of 69,000 households. RES will provide 15-20 percent of the plant financing from company coffers while the rest will be financed from long-term loans. The company has already initiated contacts with local banks for loans.

Accompanied by local and foreign company officials, RES CEO Jean-Marc Armitano met with reporters in İstanbul on Wednesday to share the details of his company's plans for Turkey. Celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, RES has been active in Turkey since 2009. Currently, the company holds licenses to produce 170 MW from wind energy in Turkey. RES also has investments in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific markets. The company's wind-power investments worldwide equal a Total size of over 6,000 MW.

Underlining that they expect renewable investments to accelerate next year, the RES CEO said their goal is to secure 5 percent of the Turkish wind market. RES will be concentrating on wind and solar in particular for the next five years. Turkey aspires to increase installed wind-power energy to 20,000 MW by 2023. The country currently has an installed wind capacity of 1,900 MW. Estimations put the total wind power potential inside the country at 115,000 MW. A total of 304 licenses with a wind-energy-power capacity of 11,090 MW were allocated this year. The government plans to open new license tenders in 2013, and RES expects to join these as well. “Our perception of the Turkish market is that wind activity is rising. The government was overwhelmed with license applications over the past three years, but now they have started to sort out the problems," he said.

Also speaking at the meeting, RES Mediterranean Commercial Director William Hopkins said increasing electricity demand and the need for clean technology attract new players to Turkey. “RES will be concentrating on wind and solar for the next five years. … We are interested in contributing to increasing the renewable mix in Turkey,” he explained. Stressing that uncertainty in the licensing process hinders manufacturing -- or supply industry for renewable -- investments inside Turkey, he said investors want to see a long-term vision.

RES Anatolia Project Development Manager Şener Özgül said they hope to increase the licensed wind power potential in Turkey to as high as 100 MW before the end of the year. The environmental impact report (ÇED) for the project has already been received, and we are working on new projects. As regards solar-power investments, recalling that the government expects to hold a license tender for a total 600 MW solar plant in July of next year, Özgül said they focused on 10 separate regions and are discussing potential partnerships with local energy players. “We are expecting to be involved in the first round of solar license applications in July,” he added.

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