Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 15th November
GE and UK Export Finance (UKEF), UK’s export credit agency, are financing Kalyon Enerji’s 1.35 GW Karapinar solar project, located in the Konya Karapinar province. The solar power plant is Turkey’s largest solar facility, approximately 11 km long and 3 km wide.
GE Energy Financial Services worked with UKEF, who are set to guarantee a $291 million buyer credit facility, subject to financial close. This will enable GE to deploy its first FLEXINVERTER solar technology outside the U.S., supporting Turkey’s clean energy goals and facilitating trade for UK suppliers. 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.
“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 U.S.,” says Guto Davies, global public capital leader at GE Energy Financial Services. “Our relationship with UKEF enables us to offer GE customers access to diversified and competitive financing for GE projects that deliver sustainable, reliable and affordable energy.”
The integration of the FLEXINVERTER solar technology and the assembly of the solar power station will occur in the UK. As part of the localization requirements, GE’s Grid Solutions site in Gebze, Turkey will be producing transformers for integration in the solar inverter system. In addition to GE’s solar technology, the export contract also covers design, engineering, project management, site management and commissioning.
“UK Export Finance is putting the UK at the heart of the global green energy transition,” states International Trade Secretary and UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency Anne-Marie Trevelyan. “With over £200 million pounds 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.”
GE Renewable Energy has already completed the commissioning of the FLEXINVERTER solar power station technology for the 267 MW Kalyon Enerji’s Karapinar phase I solar plant. Upon full completion, expected by late 2022, the facility will deliver clean electricity to approximately two million Turkish households.
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. The project will help Turkey to continue its expansion of renewable energy resources and commission 10 GW of solar capacity between 2017-27, according to IEA.
“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,” says Prakash Chandra, CEO of renewable hybrids at GE Renewable Energy. 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 to solve customer needs through multiple applications to enable dispatchable, green MWhs. It also includes the FLEXRESERVOIR and the FLEXIQ technologies. The FLEXRESERVOIR is a systems integrated battery energy storage and power electronics solution for multiple configurations and market applications. FLEXIQ is a digital platform that provides design, operation and fleet management solutions to enable grid compliance and maximize lifetime customer value.