Turkey's Agaoglu plans to install 1GW

TURKEY: Turkey's Agaoglu Energy Group started construction of its 93MW Sah wind power project in the western Balikesir region in September, the latest move in its bid to become one of Turkey's top ten private-sector power producers by 2015.

Parent company Agaoglu, a leading construction company, plans to invest around EUR1.5 billion in building 1GW of installed capacity, split as evenly as possible between wind, hydro and thermal generation.

So far, Agaoglu has just 33MW of operating wind power. It commissioned its first plant, a 33MW facility at Mut, near Mersin on Turkey's southern coast, in March (Windpower Monthly, April 2010). The plant is powered by 11 Vestas V90 3MW turbines. The company hopes to extend the farm to 120MW but is waiting for a decision from the Turkish Energy Market Regulator (EMRA).

Agaoglu acquired the Sah project last year when it bought Galata Wind Energy and its portfolio of 203MW from the Italian-Dutch renewables specialist Relight. The company expects to complete the plant by the end of the year at a cost of about TRY 200 million (EUR103 million). Istanbul-based Akbank is providing a loan of EUR62.7 million, with the rest coming from equity. Again, Vestas is supplying 31 of its V90 3MW turbines. Thanks to a net capacity factor estimated at 39%, these should meet the power needs of some 33,000 homes, according to Kor Ozay, the group's business development coordinator.

In addition to Sah, the Galata portfolio comprises 80MW at Tatlipinar and 30MW at Edincik, also in the Balikesir region. Both projects had received regulatory approval from EMRA, but which was later revoked. Agaoglu challenged the decision in the courts and is now waiting for the final verdict, although the initial feedback was not favourable, Ozay admits.

In the meantime, the company is working with GL Garrad Hassan on micro-siting a 14MW project at Seferihisar, south-west of Izmir. Agaoglu hopes to sign a turbine supply contract by the end of the year and start construction before next summer.

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