Conergy establishes joint venture in Turkey

Conergy is expanding into Turkey with a new joint venture. The company has teamed up with local company CO Group, a subsidiary of industrial conglomerate Cenay Group, to launch the jointly owned RKT Conergy.

Owned by entrepreneur Cengiz Guldamlas?, the Cenay Group owns multiple companies in such diverse industrial sectors as electrical infrastructure, real estate, construction and telecommunications, making it an ideal partner for Conergy’s rollout. RKT, the project development company co-owned by Guldamlas?, has developed more than 800 MW of wind parks to date and is now developing solar projects with Conergy.

The joint venture will be led by Heinz-Peter Tienken, Conergy’s vice president of Global Engineering & Service, and RKT Managing Director Utku Korkmaz.

RKT Conergy will provide project development, financing, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) as well as operations and maintenance (O&M) services to the Turkish market with a focus on commercial rooftop and ground-mount segment, according to Conergy.

While some reports have indicated that Turkey’s solar PV rollout has been slower than anticipated and the country’s project approval process overly complicated, Alexander Gorski, Conergy’s chief operating officer and leader of the group’s expansion in Turkey, is confident that RKT Conergy will hit the ground running, particularly with the support of CO Group.

“The solar business in Turkey is improving rapidly as more experienced players move into the market and it matures,” Gorski told pv magazine. “Given the talent that RKT Conergy has, people with decades of experience doing construction and telecommunications projects in Turkey, we do not expect major complications.”

Indeed, Conergy execs describe Turkey as “one of the most attractive emerging solar markets with favorable market conditions: increasing energy demand and high irradiance level, supported by a government-sponsored feed-in tariff (FIT) program.”

Gorski adds, “We are extremely confident in our ability to roll out in Turkey and quickly obtain business and gain market share. Our joint-venture partner, the Cenay Group/CO Group is the perfect partner for us.”

“Having a local partner helps Conergy enter new markets more quickly,” Gorski tells pv magazine. “The CO Group has many existing business relationships in Turkey that will be good partners and customers for solar. We already have a 30 MW pipeline in the planning phase.”

Cenay Group’s Guldamlas? echoed the sentiment: “Conergy, with its many years of solar experience and its high quality engineering standards, is an ideal partner for us to grow a solar business in Turkey with. We expect RKT Conergy to grow very rapidly.”

Gorski says RKT Conergy’s goal “is to provide bankable turn-key EPC and O&M services for commercial rooftop and ground-mount opportunities. In terms of commercial projects, we will work with investment grade customers and are interested in acquiring later stage projects in the ‘unlicensed’ segment, meaning projects below 1 MW.”

Korkmaz adds, “We made good progress in building up a pipeline within the unlicensed PV segment and already have 30 MW of secured grid. With the addition of Conergy, which is both bankable and experienced in the solar sector, we will be able to further strengthen and speed up our project development activities."

Korkmaz tells pv magazine that a major challenge for investors and developers is the fact that project development and EPC process are fully integrated with each other. "RKT Conergy is fully equipped to overcome challenges related to this. We are the only one-stop shop solution company in Turkey that can do each single thing in house from scratch — up to the comissioning and even afterwards, during O&M and even helping invetors sell electricity."

Conergy’s expansion into Turkey follows the company’s recent return to profitability, bringing in nearly half a billion dollars in revenue in 2014 and completing an equity financing round this month, which included European utility giant RWE acquiring a minority stake in the group.

In 2014, Conergy developed and installed 300 MW of utility scale projects, bringing its total installed capacity to nearly 1 GW, making it one of the largest solar companies globally.

RKT Conergy will exhibit at the Solarex in Istanbul, which runs April 9-11.