Kalyon Holding’s renewable energy branch has finished the construction of its 1.35 GW solar power plant in Karapınar in central Anatolia. It is one of the largest in the world. The Turkish company also said it expanded the capacity of its solar module factory near Ankara to 2 GW per year.
In 2017, Kalyon Holding won Turkey’s first solar power auction (YEKA-1 GES) with Hanwha Group from South Korea for a solar park of 1.35 GW in peak capacity. At the time, there was barely 3.5 GW in photovoltaics installed in the whole country while this year the level is set to reach 10 GW.
Kalyon’s Chairman Cemal Kalyoncu revealed that the Konya Karapınar solar park has been completed and that it would be inaugurated by the end of the month. The facility in a desert in central Anatolia, in Asia Minor, is among the ten largest of its kind in the world. Its connection capacity, in terms of alternating current (AC), is 1 GW. Peak capacity is the maximum in direct current or DC.
Kalyon installed Konya Karapınar using panels from its own factory
The photovoltaic plant consists of almost 3.5 million panels. The company claims its annual output will be able to cover the electricity needs of two million people. In the meantime, the South Korean firm left the project. The site spans 1,920 hectares. Construction started in 2020.
The site spans 1,920 hectares
The auctions within the Renewable Energy Resources Area – YEKA are for power purchase agreements and state aid. The conditions for participation are particularly strict when it comes to the share of the domestic workforce, products and services.
In partnership with China Electronic Technology Group Corp. (CETC) and with hefty subsidies, Kalyon opened its own solar panel factory in the Ankara area in August 2020 and a research and development unity right after that. The facility had an initial capacity of 500 MW per year, intended primarily for the giant photovoltaic plant.
Solar module capacity doubles to 2 GW per year
The news that Konya Karapınar is now finished was announced at the launch of the factory’s third segment. It doubled its annual capacity to 2 GW. The company pointed out that it aims to reach 10 GW per year.
Chairman Kalyoncu said Kalyon has the ambition to boost the share of domestic value to 90% by introducing items that currently aren’t made in Turkey. The factory both produces components and assembles entire modules.
Kalyon is planning to build a wind turbine plant as well
The holding is also active in wind project development. It is planning a wind turbine plant. Among other sectors, it is installing a network of charging stations for electric vehicles.
Services management and investment conglomerate International Holding Co. (IHC) from the United Arab Emirates agreed in August to buy 50% of Kalyon Energy (Enerji).
Dönmez: Turkey is third in world in solar panel production
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Dönmez said Turkey has surpassed South Korea to become the world’s third-biggest solar panel producer, trailing only China and Cambodia, Turkish media reported. In addition, he noted that the country’s electricity capacity is now 104 GW, compared to just 30 GW in 2002. In the meantime, USD 80 billion was invested in the sector, mostly by private companies, Dönmez stressed.
Europe’s biggest solar power plant is Iberdrola’s Francisco Pizarro. The facility in Extremadura has 590 MW in capacity. But there is also the biggest solar complex, of 750 MW, in Spain as well. The system in Aragon consists of 15 units with 50 MW each.
With its partner Prosolia Energy, Iberdrola is preparing to build a 1.2 GW agrivoltaic plant in Portugal. They expect it to come online in 2025.
Two early-stage projects in Balkans are potentially larger than Konya Karapınar
Currently the largest completed solar power plant in the region tracked by Balkan Green Energy News has a nameplate capacity of 204.3 MW. It is in Greece’s north, in the Western Macedonia region. The facility was installed by HELLENiQ Energy, which used to be called Hellenic Petroleum. It is also the biggest photovoltaic plant with bifacial panels in Europe.
PPC Renewables is about to start building a 550 MW system in the same province. Enipeas won a strategic investment status on a national level for its solar power project with a planned peak capacity of 700 MW in Thessaly.
After Konya Karapınar, the biggest solar power plant in Southeastern Europe is in northern Greece – 204.3 MW
Romania’s government-controlled Hidroelectrica is said to be the most likely candidate for the concession for a solar power project of up to 1.5 GW on state land. German company Profine Energy plans to build a floating solar power plant of as much as 1.5 GW on the Ogosta artificial lake in Bulgaria.
The biggest photovoltaic plant in the Western Balkans is in North Macedonia. It is owned by Slovenian firm GEN-I. It has 17 MW. French company Voltalia started building its Karavasta facility last year in Albania. The envisaged peak or maximum capacity, in direct current terms, is 140 MW.
In Serbia, Fintel Energia and MK Group are developing a 660 MW agrisolar project, which will combine crop production with electricity generation, and in Croatia, El Sun Energy plans to build a 950 MW solar power plant.