The two parties announced on Wednesday, February 1, that they had established a new company, Gehrlicher Merk Solar Enerji A.?., located in Instanbul. Dirk J. Lamottke, director of Gehrlichers project business tells pv magazine that a total of four people are currently employed at the Istanbul office. "Under the provision that the FIT environment does not weaken," he says, "we are very likely to create new jobs in 2013 in the Joint Venture Company. In our Wholesale Department we have created a team, which will work together with the Turkish colleagues and create partner branches in all Turkish regions."
The Turkish FIT is paid in U.S. dollars and currently amounts to US$0.133 per kilowatt hour, guaranteed for 10 years. There are also a number of bonuses paid for purchasing components which are made in Turkey.
In terms of projects, Lamottke says that Gehrlicher Merk Solar Enerji is currently working on some smaller photovoltaic systems, below 500 kilowatts peak. The company hopes to complete them this year, due to the shorter permitting processes involved.
It is additionally looking to develop and install large-scale projects. "We have developed plans for several projects, each having a capacity of at least 10 megawatts. We intend to acquire more suitable land plots for PV plants in several regions of Turkey to develop and build solar parks in a double MW digit size. The precise locations of the sites will be disclosed later," Lamottke says.
While he would not disclose how much the two parties have invested in the JV, he did say that they intend to invest "a significant amount in the development of large scale free field installations".
As well as Turkey, Azerbaijan is also a key focus. "We will develop the market in the neighbouring countries and intend for example to enter the PV market in Azerbaijan in the course of this year. With Akfel Group as our partner, we are in the comfortable position to have access to their network, which particularly includes relations in Azerbaijan, among others," concludes Lamottke.