Turkey’s massive wind resource has long been recognized. Now China’s wind giant Sinovel has signed an agreement to supply turbines to build 600 MW of wind projects in Turkey, in what could be the company’s largest overseas deal to date.
In the deal sealed this week in Beijing when Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan visited China’s capital, not only will China supply the turbines, but the lions share of the financing as well: 60% will be provided by China Development Bank.
Rather than a single large wind farm, the deal would be split up into more than 10 smaller projects, but the turbines would be Sinovel’s 1.5 MW, 3 MW and 3.6 MW, according to Li Lecheng, senior vice president at Sinovel.
The first of the Turkish wind farms would be completed by the end of this year, continuing an a acceleration in wind development in the country, which grew from just 147 MW in 2007, to 2,000 MW (2 GW) by the end of 2011, according to Leonardo Energy, and Turkey aims to increase this tenfold to 20GW by 2023.
New supportive legislation and an increase in the feed-in tariff at the end of 2010 and a government commitment to 50,000 MW of wind connected to the grid by 2020, are encouraging further growth. The government’s immediate target is to have 5,000 MW of that wind power capacity grid-connected by 2015.
Interestingly, like China, Turkey’s national transmission company is required to provide grid connections to all renewable power projects. If you build it, they will come.
Turkey offers a feed-in tariff for wind at 7.3 US cents per kWh, with additional incentives if there is a local component in the manufacture of the wind turbine. Local involvement can increase the tariff to around 11 US cents per kWh.
In one of the most unusual policy ideas I’ve come across, in Turkey, you can arrange to sell your renewable energy privately to any customer willing to take it at that price – although that usually winds up being higher than the grid price.