Turkey issues 1 GW PV tender, sets maximum price of $0.065/kWh

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Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources has published a tender for the deployment of 1 GW of new PV capacity in the country’s official journal.

The government confirmed that it will be held across three different tenders linked to the three chosen locations: Sanliurfa-Viransehir in the southeast of the country, where 500 MW will be assigned; the Hatay-Erzin site, in the same region, where a 200 MW quota has been set; and the Nigde-Bor location, in central Anatolia, which is expected to host 300 MW of solar and a 30 MW/ 90 MWh (AC) Li-ion battery storage project.

Furthermore, the Turkish government has set an initial maximum price of $0.065/kWh for all of the tenders. It is interesting to note that this price is slightly lower that the final price of a similar 1 GW solar auction held in March 2017, which was $0.0699 per kWh.

The two auctions also differ in the local content requirements. While the first included rules for the domestic procurement of ingots, wafers, cells and moduless, the second has limited these to just solar cells and modules. As such, developers will not be required to open vertically integrated solar module factories, like that built and currently operated by a consortium formed by Turkey’s Kalyon Enerji and Korea-based solar module manufacturer Hanwha Q Cells, which was the first tender’s only winner.

The new tender winners will, however, be required to buy at least 60% of the modules for their projects from domestic manufacturers.

Although the Turkish PV module industry is currently unable to offer prices that can compete with Asian and Chinese products, it has more than enough capacity to satisfy the demand coming from this new tender.

Indeed, in addition to the aforementioned 500 MW factory, there are two operational PV module factories in the free Trade zone of Turkey: China Sunergy’s 300 MW fab and a 600 MW cell and module factory commissioned by Chinese group, HT-SAAE at the start of 2017.

Furthermore, Turkish solar and renewable energy project developer, Eko Yenilenebilir Enerjiler A.S. (EkoRE) is planning to build a 1 GW solar PV module factory in Niğde, in the Turkish region of Central Anatolia, while Turkey-based solar manufacturer, Suoz Energy Group has recently resumed PV panel production at its Mar Solar PV module factory in Dilovasi, in the western Turkish province of Kocaeli.

“Local production is the vital element for the sustainability of the Turkish PV market,” Icarus Enerji’s Eren Engur told pv magazine in June. “Over the last two years, Turkish local manufacturers have evolved a lot and nowadays most of them can manufacture high quality products with cost competitive prices. Compared to European and U.S. costs it’s highly competitive – but of course not for Asian,” said.

Interested developers will have to send their project proposals by January 31, 2019. Selected projects will be awarded a 15-year PPA.