"Probably the earliest offshore projects in Turkey will be in the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara, in that part of the sea where the water depth lends to the same monopile and jacket technology already widely used in Europe and Asia," said Philip Totaro, founder and CEO of consultancy Totaro & Associates.
In the Aegean, both the Turkish government and offshore developers are expected to steer clear of any potentially contentious sites too close to the border with Greece.
Turkey should be able to benefit from experience gained in onshore wind. Cumulative capacity stood at 6.9GW at the end of 2017 and permitting has improved markedly from the industry’s early days, as well as from lessons learned from the development of offshore wind in Europe.
The tender will be held under the same winner-takes-all renewable-energy designated-area auction system, known by its Turkish acronym Yeka, under which 1GW of onshore capacity was allocated last year to a consortium composed of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) and Turkish partners Kalyon Enerji and Turkerler Holding (see story below).
As was the case in that initial Yeka wind tender, local content requirements are expected to be high. Some turbine manufacturers have expressed an interest in looking at Turkey as a hub for supplying turbines for future offshore projects in the region, noted Totaro.
While tender participation will depend on the requirements laid down in the tender documentation, including the ceiling price for bidding, initial indications of interest are strong. International offshore developers with experience of permitting procedures and building European offshore wind projects would be expected to form partnerships with offshore turbine manufacturers and Turkish developers and infrastructure firms.
The Turkish government is seeking input from a wide range of industry players. As part of this process, Totaro & Associates is now updating its estimate of the country’s offshore wind potential, which it identified as 32GW in a 2015 study. "Something closer to 40GW is now likely," said Totaro. Not all of this is easily exploitable, though. Water depths at some potential sites, particularly in the Mediterranean region, are likely to require the use of floating foundation technology.