A Vertically Integrated Solar Module Manufacturing Facility Opens in Turkey

Turkey recently inaugurated its integrated solar module manufacturing facility according to local media reports.

The major solar ingot-wafer-module-cell production factory owned by Kalyon Holding will be operated through an investment of $400 million (Turkish Lira 2.9 billion). According to President Erdoğan, the 25-acre facility will manufacture solar modules with a capacity of 500 MW per year and would employ 1,400 people. Kalyon’s module facility will produce monocrystalline solar modules.

The components produced at the facility will be used at Turkey’s largest solar power project with a capacity of 1,000 MW, located at Karapınar district in the central Anatolian province of Konya for the first three years. This is a part of the first solar renewable energy resource zone (YEKA) tender with a capacity of 1,000 MW.

According to Turkey’s energy and natural resources minister Fatih Dönmez, the new facility will augment solar energy’s share in the country’s power generation by 25% and curb annual emission of two million tons of carbon dioxide.

Dönmez claims the facility will save imports worth $100 million each year and further added that Turkey is the ninth nation in the world and third in Europe to have increased its installed solar power capacity ever since it turned towards solar in 2014.

According to the Turkish finance minister, Berat Albayrak, two-thirds of the country’s electricity generation is derived from domestic and renewable resources.

During the inauguration ceremony, Kalyon Holding’s chairman of the board, Cemal Kalyoncu, stated that the facility is the first and only fully integrated factory in the world that combines all stages of solar module production, including research and development (R&D), under a single roof.

A consortium of Kalyon Holding and South Korean company Hanwha Q-Cells, had won the tender for Turkey’s biggest solar power project – the Karapınar Renewable Energy Resources Zone Project – in March 2017 at the cost of $0.0699/kWh.

However, Hanwha has stepped down and replaced by China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), which will now construct the facility and provide two years of additional technical assistance after the turnkey contract expires.

Turkey plans to boost its wind and solar capacity by 10 GW each year over the coming decade through YEKA. Donmez announced plans to hold YEKA tenders for solar energy in a new form, known as ‘mini YEKA, which are due in October 2020.

Mercom had earlier reported that Turkey had opened a tender for 1 GW of wind power projects, which are to be developed at four locations in the country. According to the Turkish Official Gazette, the country will procure power from these projects for 15 years.

Meanwhile, according to government estimates, India’s solar exports to Turkey stood at 10.1% in the first quarter of the calendar year 2020.

Image credit: LONGi Solar