Turkey's Karapinar Plant: Largest Solar Investment
The world's largest solar power plant with a single investor, the Karapinar plant in Konya in southcentral Türkiye, has become fully operational in March, according to Gurler Duman, Kalyon Enerji's Chief Operations Officer.
The plant's more than 3 million solar panels are now generating 1,350 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough to provide power to 2 million people. The plant has been developed within the scope of the country’s Renewable Energy Resource Zone (YEKA), a government scheme to establish renewable facilities in areas that are abundant in at least one renewable energy source, either wind or solar power.
YEKA projects use investments from local investors and/or consortiums for the manufacture of equipment and the construction of large-scale electricity generation facilities. The Karapinar plant has a total area of 20,000 decares and is located in a region with the greatest solar exposure.
The solar panels in the facility come from Türkiye’s first integrated solar ingot-wafer-module-cell production factory in Ankara, which was established by Kalyon Solar Energy Technologies Production Company and started production on Aug. 19, 2020.
YEKA projects have been the main drivers of growth in renewable energy in recent years, both in terms of technology development, equipment manufacture, and electricity generation.
The success of such projects is evident in the Karapinar plant's achievement of becoming the world's largest solar power plant established by a single investor. Duman explained that the facility differs from those listed as large solar parks in that they are funded by a large number of investors or consortiums rather than a single investor.
The Karapinar plant's success is likely to encourage similar projects financed by a sole investor to become operational in the Middle East in the following months. The move towards renewable energy sources like solar power is expected to continue as countries around the world strive to reduce their carbon footprint and meet emissions targets. The Karapinar plant's achievement in becoming the world's largest solar power plant with a single investor is a significant milestone in this ongoing transition towards sustainable energy.