Turkey’s largest solar project to receive £217m in UK funding

The International Trade Secretary yesterday announced over £217 million worth of government backing for the largest solar facility in Turkey as the UK starts to deliver on pledges made at COP26.

UK Export Finance’s backing for Kalyon Enerji’s 1.35GW Karapinar solar project is the largest-ever guarantee it has provided for a solar project. UKEF’s guarantee will help support over 100 British jobs as the integration of the solar technology and the assembly of the solar power station will occur in the UK.

Equivalent to over 4,600 football pitches in size, the facility will deliver clean electricity to approximately two million Turkish households when completed in late 2022.

International Trade Secretary and UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said: “UK Export Finance is putting the UK at the heart of the global green energy transition.

“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 Energy Financial Services supported UKEF to agree the deal, with the UK’s export credit agency set to guarantee a £217 million [US $291 million] Buyer Credit Facility. 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.

The project is part of the first Turkish solar YEKA tender launched by the Turkish Ministry of Energy under the Renewable Energy Resources Zones (YEKA) programme. 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.

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 U.S.

“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.”

This announcement comes on the heels of the UN Climate Conference, COP26, where governments and businesses committed trillions of pounds in green investments and more than 40 countries quitting coal. The UK government made new commitments to eliminate climate harm from global finance and take action to support the global energy transition.

The UK’s green exporters will also be at the centre of International Trade Week (November 15 – 19), where the government is seeking to level up British exports. Over the week, trade exports, ministers and parliamentarians will be hosting events and workshops aimed at everyone from seasoned exporters to those looking to sell to the world for the first time.

Prakash Chandra, CEO 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. We are thrilled to be partnering with Kalyon Enerji on these projects and look forward to more opportunities to increase the penetration of renewable energy in Turkey.”