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China-US solar firm helps develop largest PV power plant in Turkey

Canadian Solar supplies modules for Turkey's largest commercial PV project and first under country's 500kW law

The solar project will be built in Turkey and be the largest for the country

A Chinese-US solar firm is helping to develop Turkey’s largest commercial PV project. Canadian Solar, which is headed in Canada, with most operations taking place in China, has provided its CS6P-P solar modules for the first project under the new Turkish solar energy legislation. The legislation, YEK, (Law on the utilization of renewable energy resources for the purpose of generating electricity), is for solar power plants under 500kW.

The solar park has a capacity of 540kW (450kW on-grid and 90 kW off-grid), which marks a new milestone of solar power production in Turkey, making it the largest solar power plant in the country. This is the second project that Canadian Solar has realised in collaboration with the EPC contractor Gehrlicher Merk Solar in Turkey, following a 96kW governmental PV project, which was finalised in September 2012.

The solar park at Izmir airport is the first photovoltaic project at an airport in the region. It is comprised of a ground-mounted installation of 450kW and 90kW of off-grid systems on several radar stations; which makes it the largest photovoltaic system currently installed in the country.

It is also the first solar power plant to be erected under the newly introduced Turkish legislation to foster renewable energy plants under 500kW. The regulation has encouraged a pipeline of projects totalling 40MW to 50MW so far, and emphasises the interest of the government in the development of a renewable energy industry in Turkey and to increase the diversification of energy resources. One core advantages of the new legislation is the simplified official procedures where no licensing is required.

Omer Cihan Karahan, CEO of Gehrlicher Merk Solar, said: "The project in Izmir is a very significant achievement for us.”

Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, added: "We are proud to contribute our modules to this milestone project for the Turkish solar energy sector and for us as a company in this emerging renewable energy market. The new YEK will have a great impact on business development in this industry and we are delighted to be a part of that. With this project as a reference, we believe we will continue this success in other national and international airport projects in the future."

Up until the completion of the 540kW project in Izmir, a 96kW rootftop photovoltaic system in Bursa had been the largest Turkish Governmental supported solar power plant. This year Chinese PV has been used to complete large-scale rooftop installations including the largest solar roof in France.