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GE and UK Export Finance (UKEF), UK’s export credit agency, signed an agreement to finance Kalyon Enerji’s 1.35 GW Karapinar solar project located in Konya Karapinar province. The solar power plant is Turkey’s largest solar facility, approximately 11km long and 3km wide, equivalent to over 4,600 football pitches.
GE Energy Financial Services worked with UKEF, who are set to guarantee a US$291 million [£217 million] Buyer Credit Facility, subject to financial close. This will enable GE to deploy its first FLEXINVERTER solar technology outside the U.S., 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.
Guto Davies, Global Public Capital Leader at GE Energy Financial Services, said: “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 U.S. 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.”
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 localization 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. As the Summit closes, 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.
International Trade Secretary and UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said: “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. 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.
Prakash Chandra, CEO of Renewable Hybrids at GE Renewable Energy, said: “There is tremendous potential for solar energy in Turkey which can be addressed through smart solutions that will help integrate this natural energy source into the grid in a reliable way and at utility-scale. We are thrilled to be partnering with Kalyon Enerji on these projects and look forward to more opportunities to increase the penetration of renewable energy in Turkey.”
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 system-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 maximize lifetime customer value.