NEW YORK and EZINE, Turkey – June 21, 2011 – Turkey’s newest wind farm – the first owned by a joint venture of GAMA Holding A.S. and GE (NYSE:GE) unit GE Energy Financial Services – is now selling clean electricity and helping the country meet its renewable energy generation targets, the companies announced today at an American Council on Renewable Energy conference in New York.
The 22.5-megawatt Sares wind farm, located in one of Turkey’s most extreme wind regions near the city of Canakkale in the Ezine Region near the northwest coast, uses nine GE 2.5-megawatt turbines, some of the most advanced in GE’s fleet in efficiency, reliability and grid connection capabilities. Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources approved commercial operation of the Sares wind farm, the first in Turkey owned by Ankara-based GAMA Enerji A.Ş., the joint venture of GE EFS and GAMA Holding.
“As a global investor, we are delighted to expand our renewable energy investing to Turkey, particularly using GE’s state-of-the-art turbines, to help the country meet its energy and environmental needs with a sustainable, efficient energy source like wind,” Kevin Walsh, a managing director and leader of Power and Renewable Energy at GE Energy Financial Services, said at the American Council on Renewable Energy’s Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street.
Added Stephan Ritter, general manager of GE Renewables Europe: “The Turkish market’s potential for the wind business is very big. To realize that potential, we are committed to working with wind developers such as GAMA Enerji. As our most advanced installed wind turbine in efficiency, reliability and grid connection capabilities, the 2.5-megawatt series is an excellent match for a region with such extreme wind conditions.”
The GE-GAMA joint venture is also developing the 10-megawatt Karadag wind farm, 350 kilometers south of Sares. Project construction, also using GE’s 2.5-megawatt turbines, is expected to start in the third quarter of this year, with completion expected in the second quarter of next year. While GAMA Enerji has invested in the Sares and Karadag projects, GE Energy will maintain them under a services agreement, and GAMA Enerji will operate them.
GAMA Enerji Managing Director Semih Ergur said: “These wind farms not only support a cleaner environment but create jobs, support our company’s growth and help Turkey achieve its renewable energy goals.”
GAMA Enerji estimates that the two wind farms will generate enough electricity to power 59,000 average Turkish homes and avoid 80,000 tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions. Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources aims to generate 20 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable resources by 2020.
GE’s 2.5-megawatt wind turbines are used at two of the world´s largest wind projects: CEZ Romania’s 600-megawatt Fantanele wind farm, Europe’s largest onshore project; and the 845-megawatt Shepherds Flats wind project, the world’s largest wind farm, under construction in the US state of Oregon that is co-owned by GE Energy Financial Services, Caithness Energy, Google and subsidiaries of ITOCHU Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation. This machine is designed to yield the highest annual energy production in its class and builds on the success of GE’s 1.5-megawatt wind turbine, the world’s most widely deployed wind turbine, with more than 16,000 now installed.