Turkey’s Inosolar seeks German coop. for solar factory

Inosolar, SolarWorld also reaches agreement of exclusivity for supplying 60 MW of PV modules to Turkish market

Turkey’s Istanbul-based EPC contractor, Inosolar, plans to open a solar panel factory in a partnership with Europe’s largest independent solar energy company SolarWorld, Inosolar’s chairman of the board told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

Inosolar and Solarworld reached an agreement of exclusivity on Jan. 12 which authorises Inosolar as German producer’s sole distributor in Turkey with an option to build a solar panel factory in central Anatolia.

Under the agreement, SolarWorld will provide with a capacity of 60 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) modules for the solar projects in Turkey in the first half of the year.

Following a visit to SolarWorld’s module manufacturing facility in Freiberg, Ismet Ersoy said that Inosolar’s cooperation with SolarWorld dates back to 2012 after when Inosolar used SolarWorld modules in its several photovoltaic projects. They preferred German company’s products in its 25 MW PV solar power project in southeastern district of Gaziantep.

“One of the reasons why we prefer SolarWorld is that the company provides 20-year product warranty as well as the high product quality,” Ersoy noted.

“We also plan to extend SolarWorld’s panel production to Turkey with a factory that has an capacity of 100 MW photovoltaic panel production. This is a strong possibility which we include in our exclusivity agreement,” he asserted.

Turkey is an important market in a region, of which lots of its neighbors are potential export customers, he said.

Ersoy also said that they already determined the location for the factory in an organized industrial site in central Anatolia.

“If we finalize the decision to open a joint factory, the project will advance very quickly,” he said.

– Further cooperation possible with Inosolar

Frank Asbeck, managing director of SolarWorld, said that the German company has solid interest for deeper cooperation with Inosolar on increasing 60 MW PV modules delivery to 100 MW.

He also said that they are working on the viability of the idea of opening a solar panel factory in central Anatolia with their Turkish partner.

“Either for the first step it could be a German plant going over there but of course main components can be brand new, other components can be of course out of existing lines. This has to be decided. It depends on what quantity or what production name plate the plant will have,” he said.

“What can come from Turkey is the frame, the glass and of course the back foil if the tests are OK,” he said, adding SolarWorld already supplies some of its glass, aluminum and frames from Turkey.

He noted that the local content level including Turkish labour in the planned Turkish factory could reach up to 65 percent.

– Turkey on right track

Ten years ago, Turkey had big plans for solar and wind energy and most of those plans were realized over the years, German businessman said.

“It is a very positive sign. It was a slow progress. However, that is the reason why Turkey did not make too much mistakes,” Asbeck said.

Countries like Spain gave too much money too early to the sector, which turned into an over subsidized malfunctioning solar market and missed “the learning curve of falling prices or falling cost of PV,” according to Asbeck.

“So I think there was a continuous policy in Turkey, sometimes it was not perfect, but it was persistent. So that was good for the market. We are happy that the current government is also prioritizing PV, they think this is one urgently needed source of energy,” he said. AA

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