GE and UK Export Finance Agree to finance Turkish solar project

Kalyon Enerji’s 1.35 GW Karapinar solar project, located in Turkey’s Konya Karapinar province, is the country’s largest solar facility, approximately 11 km long and 3 km wide, equivalent to over 4,600 football pitches.
GE and UK Export Finance Agree to finance Turkish solar project
Kalyon Yeka solar farm. Courtesy of GE Renewable Energy

GE Energy Financial Services worked with UKEF, who are set to guarantee a $291 million [£217 million] Buyer Credit Facility, subject to financial close. This will enable GE to deploy its first Flexinverter solar technology outside the US, supporting Turkey’s clean energy goals and facilitating trade for UK suppliers. Financing for the project will be structured on a project finance basis and raised through J.P. Morgan as acting lead arranger and lender supported by the UKEF guarantee.

The integration of the Flexinverter solar technology and the assembly of the solar power station will occur in the UK, supporting around 100 UK jobs directly and indirectly in the supply chain. As part of the localisation requirements, GE’s Grid Solutions site in Gebze, Turkey will be producing transformers for integration in the solar inverter system. In addition to GE’s solar technology, the export contract also covers design, engineering, project management, site management and commissioning.

The UK government has made new commitments to eliminate climate harm from global finance and take action to support the global energy transition at the COP26 UN Climate Summit. The UK is now delivering on these pledges by backing major green export deals during its first International Trade Week, an ambitious week of business and sector-led events to encourage businesses of all sizes to sell to the world.

“GE is proud to be partnering with UKEF again to deliver one of Turkey’s most significant renewable projects and GE’s first Flexinverter solar power station technology outside the US” said Guto Davies, Global Public Capital Leader at GE Energy Financial Services. “Our relationship with UKEF enables us to offer GE customers access to diversified and competitive financing for GE projects that deliver sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy.”

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, International Trade Secretary and UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency, added that UK Export Finance is putting the UK at the heart of the global green energy transition.

“With over £200 million pounds worth of backing, we are helping to bring solar energy to two million Turkish households” said Ms Trevelyan. “Firm action from the UK alone is not enough to fight the climate crisis. UKEF’s financing encourages other countries to invest in renewable energy and opens new markets for UK businesses that will power a recovery underpinned by green jobs.”

GE Renewable Energy has already completed the commissioning of the Flexinverter solar power station technology for the 267 MW Kalyon Enerji’s Karapinar phase I solar plant. Upon full completion, expected by late 2022, the facility will deliver clean electricity to approximately two million Turkish households.

The project is part of the first Turkish solar YEKA tender launched in 2017 by the Turkish Ministry of Energy under the Renewable Energy Resources Zones (YEKA) programme. The project will help Turkey to continue its expansion of renewable energy resources and commission 10 GW of solar capacity between 2017-27, according to IEA.

GE's Flexinverter solar power station combines a solar inverter, medium voltage power transformer, and an optional MV Ring Main Unit, integrated in a 20-feet ISO high cube container. The Flexinverter is a key component of GE’s Renewable Hybrids Flex portfolio, designed to solve customer needs through multiple applications to enable dispatchable, green MWhs. It also includes the Flexreservoir and the Flexiq technologies. The Flexreservoir is a systems integrated battery energy storage and power electronics solution for multiple configurations and market applications. Flexiq is a digital platform that provides design, operation and fleet management solutions to enable grid compliance and maximise lifetime customer value.

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