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Turkish energy minister flags major offshore wind plans

Nation planning 'world's largest project' as part of measures to keep up momentum in renewables, says Albayrak

Turkey is planning a major entry into the offshore wind sector with a project that would be “the world’s largest”, the country’s energy minister said.

The offshore wind project forms part of a renewables push that aims to spur the build of 10GW of wind and solar plants over the next 10 years, minister Berat Albayrak told an energy conference in Istanbul.

Turkey is preparing new 1GW tenders in each source, and will include provision for storage capacity, added Albayrak.

They would follow on from the auctions held last year that included a 1GW wind process won by a consortium including Siemens Gamesa with a bid of $34.8/kWh and entered by many of the world’s leading sector players.

Turkey has 32GW offshore wind potential, study says

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Turkey ended 2017 with 6.86GW of wind power installed after adding 766MW last year, according to latest data from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

The nation has rapidly emerged as a renewables hostpot, and is keen to maintain the momentum despite the political instability that followed 2015’s failed coup.

Albayrak said of its offshore wind ambitions: “We are preparing a project that stipulates the establishment of the largest wind power farm in the world, which we believe will create far-reaching echoes across the globe,” in remarks reported by the Daily Sabah newspaper, which helped organise the conference.

A 2015 report by consultancy Totaro & Associates said Turkey could have up to 32GW of potential in the waters of the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black seas.

Development potential of the country's offshore acreage has been “largely underestimated or ignored” so far due to transmission complexities, water depths and limited wind data, said the report's authors.

But advances in floating turbine technology and recent investment in onshore transmission infrastructure are expected to open the door to "more wind potential than previously anticipated".

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