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Turkey

Turkey

Breakthrough in Turkey at last -- Yes to 120 MW

A major breakthrough for wind in Turkey has come with the approval of three projects from Cannon Power with a combined capacity of nearly 120 MW. "We've been working on this for five and a half years," says Bill Bugg of Cannon Power's Turkish office in Ankara. The projects will use 181 Vestas 660 kW turbines.

Of the three, Canakkale, on the Dardanelles Strait, is the smallest at 30 MW. Two plant will go up on the Cesme peninsula: 50 MW at Kacadag, near Ismir, and the 40 MW Mazi-3 project at Zeytineli. Cannon, one of several European offshoots of the now defunct American developer, received implementation agreements from the energy ministry last month for all three sites. Bugg expects two more projects of about 35 MW each to be approved soon.

The implementation agreements replace the traditional concession agreements, which were required for the right to generate electricity for sale, but abolished last year (Windpower Monthly, September 2000). Now, new energy projects are in the realms of normal business law, and international financing is possible. "It's been a real nightmare for so long, but we brought in our bank and we basically wrote this [new law for the ministry]," Bugg says, explaining that they took implementation agreements from other energy sources such as hydro and changed them into something that would apply to wind power.

The next step for the three Cannon projects is wrapping up financing and power purchase agreements. The company hopes to start building in January.

Several other developers also have wind projects waiting final approval and Bugg expects the Turkish market to boom due to its good wind regime. "I've spent a lot of time in Spain and Germany, but I don't think anywhere comes close to the wind in Turkey. Up at some of our sites the trees are all horizontal -- we've got winds averaging over eleven metres per second in some places."

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