Turkey: construction to begin on first licensed PV projects

Although Turkey has all the right conditions for PV power plants, administrative hurdles have proven a major obstacle to the construction of solar farms larger than 1 MW. On Wednesday Turkey’s energy agency, the EPDK, finally awarded the first licenses for construction, for two projects approved last May. The projects have a combined capacity of 13 MW.

The licenses mean that work on the solar farms can finally begin, in news that has been welcomed by Yalç?n Adiyaman, the deputy general manager of Halk Enerji. Adiyaman’s company was awarded a contract to construct a 5 MW solar farm. The president of the EPDK presented the permit to Mustafa Atilla, Halk Energji’s CEO.

According to Adiyaman, photovoltaic plants with a total capacity of 39 MW are currently connected to the grid in Turkey. Projects larger than 1 MW require a license from the EPDK. Adiyaman told pv magazine that the licensing procedure takes several years.

Officially, license applications for PV power plants with a total volume of 8.9 GW were submitted in June of 2013. Once submitted, licenses are granted through a tendering process. The EPDK planned on awarding contracts for 600 MW of photovoltaic capacity.

"We hope that by issuing this first license, the EPDK is clearing the way for the 580 MW of pending licenses," says Adiyaman. In 2015, he expects expansion of PV power plants in Turkey could be as high as 500 MW. Overall, that would mean a market volume of some 1 GW for 2015, including smaller unlicensed projects.

"After many years of waiting, Turkey has a real opportunity in 2015 to see a significant volume of systems installed and a photovoltaics market develop," says Adiyaman. After all, by then a dedcade will already have passed since Turkey approved its renewable energy legislation.