All eyes of the global wind energy sector are now on Turkey after it held an auction that could well revolutionise the country's power industry in future years.
A consortium, consisting of German firm Siemens Gamesa and Turkish partners Turkerler and Kalyon, won a tender, put at $1 billion, to provide wind turbines in five regions, including Sivas, Edirne-Kirklareli-Tekirdag, Bilecik-Kutahya-Eskisehir, Kayseri-Nigde and Ankara-Cankırı-Kırıkkale.
The winning tender will give a total capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW), with at least 50 MW in each region.
The details of the bid also set a world record for a feed-in-tariff, a mechanism that accelerates investment in the renewable technology sector.
The bid was set at $3.48 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) compared to Turkey's current $7.3 per kWh. This landmark is 40 percent below the Turkish spot market and 50 percent below current incentive prices.
The tender for the Wind Energy Renewable Energy Resource Area (YEKA) project attracted interest from eight of the world's largest leading wind turbine producers. Four were from German, two from China, and one each the US and Denmark.
The wind power plants will generate 3 billion kilowatt hours a year, so giving electricity for 1.1 million homes annually.
It is widely anticipated that the consortium will help slash Turkey's burden on energy imports by as much as $55 billion per year, as well as reducing CO2 emissions by an average of 1.5 million tons.
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak commented: "This will be a crucial step in establishing Turkey as domestically energy technology producer."
Siemens Gamesa-Türkerler-Kalyon has also pledged to construct a $100 million wind turbine factory to produce up to 450 turbines with a capacity of 2.3 MW for the five wind farms.
The factory, which will have a production capacity of 150 turbines a year, will take just short of two years to build. Crucially, the consortium has agreed to 65 percent of the turbines being produced locally.
Unique materials will be used to construct the turbines' components, such as the wings and towers. The consortium is seeking to transition technology that enables taller towers, more efficient energy transformation and a wider wing radius.
A research and development division will also be created to prove Turkey as a world leader in wind turbine technology production. It will employ 50 engineers, of which 80 percent will be Turkish.
The division will have a guaranteed $5 million a year for ten years and will target the production techniques, wind-and-generator design and material technology fields, as well as software and innovative gearboxes.
4000 people will be employed in the installation and operation of the plant and wind farms.
The YEKA strategy will underpin Turkey's hopes of increasing wind capacity nationally to 20 gigawatts (GW) by the end of 2023 compared to its current capacity of 6.1 GW. The Siemens project will increase Turkey’s wind energy production by 17 percent.
Mr Albayrak said Siemens had been working in Turkey for 200 years and the consortium deal would help soothe German-Turkey tensions which had deteriorated recently following a diplomatic spat.
Germany is Turkey’s leading exporter, buying $14 billion worth of Turkish goods last year. Mr Albayrak said the consortium would mark an “important contribution” to continuing bilateral relations between the two nations.
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