Loan support to boost wind energy

21 Mayıs 2009 - 00:00Son Güncelleme : 20 Mayıs 2009 - 18:23

ISTANBUL - As its first project in Turkey, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, or EBRD, has granted a 45 million euro loan to construct the country’s largest wind farm.

Turkey became an EBRD country of operations in September. The new financing will be used to construct and develop a 135-megawatt independent onshore wind farm in the Bahçe district of Osmaniye in southern Turkey. The wind farm is being developed by Rotor Elektrik, a division of Zorlu Holding that builds, operates and maintains wind farms as well as electricity, steam and heat production facilities based on all forms of renewable energy. The firm also sells electric power, heat and steam.

The Bahçe project will help Turkey promote clean energy and reduce its dependency on imported fuel sources, the EBRD said in a statement last week.

The new wind farm is expected to become operational by the end of 2009. With 54 wind turbines, it will be Turkey’s largest and is expected to boost the country’s current installed wind generation capacity of around 500 megawatts by an estimated 30 percent.

The project is being co-financed by the International Finance Corporation, which is providing 55 million euros toward the overall cost of the project, and the European Investment Bank, which is providing 30 million euros, with guarantees from HSBC and DenizBank.

A growing market

Turkey is the sixth largest electricity market in Europe, and one of the fastest growing globally. In order to meet growing electricity demand and diversify away from pricey imported fuel sources, local authorities have made a strong push to increase electricity generation from renewable sources. While wind power currently contributes less than 0.5 percent of the total electricity consumed, Turkey aims to connect 10,000 megawatts of wind capacity to the grid by 2020.

The EBRD is delivering on its pledge to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy in Turkey, said the bank’s First Vice President Varel Freeman.

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