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Turkey gets €45 million to build its largest wind farm

1032727_windmill_-_windfarm_2The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing Turkey with a €45 million loan for the construction of the largest wind farm in the country. The project will help Turkey promote clean energy and reduce its dependency on imported fuel sources.

The EBRD financing will be used to build a 135-megawatt, on-shore independent wind farm in Osmaniye in southern Turkey. The wind farm is being developed by Rotor Elektrik, a company incorporated in Turkey, a member of Zorlu Energy Group and owned by Zorlu Holding, one of the largest conglomerates in Turkey.

The farm is expected to become operational by the end of 2009 and will consist of 54 wind turbines. It’s expected to boost Turkey’s current installed wind generation capacity — now around 500 megawatts — by about 30 per cent.

The project is co-financed with the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, which is providing €55 million towards the overall cost of the project, and EIB, which is providing €30 million, with guarantees from HSBC plc and DenizBank A.S.

“With this first project in the country, the EBRD is delivering on its pledge to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy in Turkey’s regions,” said Varel Freeman, EBRD first vice-president. “Future EBRD investments will continue to focus on increasing the availability of risk capital and long-term financing, especially outside the main cities.”

“We are very ambitious in renewable energy projects, which will play an extremely important role in our counrys’s future and want to tender our thanks to IFC, EIB, EBRD, Denizbank and HSBC for partnering with us to develop the largest wind farm in Turkey,” said Murat Sungur Bursa, CEO of Zorlu Energy Group.

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 expensive, imported fuel sources, the Turkish authorities have made a strong push for increased electricity generation from renewable energy sources. Turkey is aiming to connect to the grid 10,000 megawatts of wind capacity alone by 2020. Currently, wind power comprises less than 0.5 percent of total electricity consumed.

In total, the EBRD expects to spend some €15 billion over the next three years for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Eastern Europe.

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