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Turkey’s $1bn solar plant to cut $450m fossil fuel use

More than 3.2 million solar panels will generate 3m kilowatt-hours of electricity annually

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has inaugurated Europe’s biggest solar power plant built on a single site.

“Turkey will no longer be a country in need of energy resources, but will rather be capable of energy export,” he said.

Developed by Kalyon Energy, an affiliate of Kalyon Holding, the plant in the central province of Konya has an installed capacity of 1,350mw, the Daily Sabah newspaper reported.

More than 3.2 million solar panels generate three million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, which will power two million homes and prevent using $450 million of fossil fuel equivalent resources.

The $1 billion plant already produces electricity and will prevent 1.5 million tons of carbon emissions annually, increasing solar energy’s contribution to Turkey’s total energy production by 20 percent.

In August last year Kalyon Holding agreed to sell a 50 percent stake in Kalyon Energy to Abu Dhabi’s International Holding Co (IHC) for about $490 million. 

The transaction included two solar power projects and a wind power project.

Turkey’s current renewable capacity accounts for over half of its total installed power capacity at 104,488mw by April 7.

Hydropower capacity stands at around 31,600mw, followed by wind at 11,490mw. Solar power generation reached 9,820mw.

The country’s renewable portfolio is expected to reach at least 1,000mw of wind and solar energy capacity each this year.