Solar business bustling for Entegro Turkey

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Turkey is proving a bustling market for Entegro Fotovoltaik Sistemleri (Entegro Turkey), a joint venture launched last year in the city of Izmir by German PV installation company Entegro Photovoltaik Systeme GmbH and local Turkish partners.

Since its establishment in January 2013 by brothers Dieter and Thomas Röttger — the team that founded Entegro near the city of Dortmund in in 2010 — and Turkish engineers Ozgur Yagmuroglu and Esref Deniz, Entegro Turkey has amassed a total of 1 MW of PV projects, with 500 kW already completed.

The 50-50 joint venture, which is managed by Deniz and Yagmuroglu, has so far focused on rooftop PV systems, particularly for industrial companies, hospitals, hotels, shopping centers and farms, but the company expects to soon begin development on ground-mounted systems following the introduction late last year of new government policies and feed-in tariffs that are making solar power plants an increasingly attractive investment in Turkey. Specifically, the government raised the maximum capacity for unlicensed PV projects from 500 kW to 1 MW.

Entegro Turkey had focused primarily on unlicensed installations and has so far completed projects ranging in size from 22.5 kW to 500 kW.

Speaking to pv magazine, Yagmuroglu says Entegro Turkey is now bidding for a 1 MW project as a result of the new policy. With licensed projects set to begin construction in the country in 2015, Entegro Turkey is also looking to be well positioned as an experienced local player.

"Our plan is to install as many [unlicensed plants] as we can during 2014 and have good references to be a preferred EPC company for the licensed projects, the capacity of which are ranging up to 20, 30 and 40 MW."

Yagmuroglu says the change in regulations allowing higher unlicensed capacity has increased the attention of investors who want to utilize PV systems for self-consumptions in their industrial operations, including factories, farms, hotels and hospitals.

In addition to their own consumption, selling the generated energy to the grid is also attractive for investors considering the feed-in tariff is $0.133 (€0.097) per kilowatt hour for photovoltaic systems.

"Turkey’s electricity energy need is growing year by year since it is an emerging country," Yagmuroglu says. "Turkey is not able to produce its own energy needed for this growing demand. Almost 60% of energy is produced by natural gas resources and we are getting the natural gas from abroad. So we are dependent on other countries for our energy consumption."

Yagmuroglu adds that renewable energy systems, especially wind and PV plants, will contribute to the reduction of Turkey’s dependency on other countries and encourage investors to produce their own energy.

"Turkey’s solar and wind energy systems capacities are really big considering its location so there is huge market potential in the country."

Yagmuroglu points out that some customers with huge energy consumption may have enough space to produce up to 10% of their consumption. "But some others have less energy consumption and have large space so they even sell the excess energy produces from their PV system to the grid."

Entegro Turkey has seen particularly strong business in the Anatolian city of Izmir, where the company is located.

Among its newest projects is a 495 kWp rooftop system for Alkor Aluminium, which is currently under construction and due to be completed in March. The project will comprise 1,980 x 250 Wp BYD modules and two Delta Solivia inverters (16 x 30 kW and 1 x 15 kW).

BYD and Delta Energy are Entegro’s official partners and the three companies collaborate closely on projects. Entegro also partners with Alkor for its rooftop mounting systems.

The company also installed a 60 kWp for Ege Deniz Textile, likewise located in Izmir.

Other completed rooftop projects include a 155 kWp system at the Algur Dairy in the western town of Soke; a 50 kWp installation for Tekpa Engineering; a 22 kWp array for the Percin Chicken Farm; and a 22.5 kW off-grid system for a villa in the hills of Bodrum Yal?kavak.