Sunday, September 5, 2010
MERSİN - Hürriyet Daily News
A new 90 million-Turkish Lira wind power plant project in the southern district of Mut will accommodate the local populations’ power needs when it is fully online, Turkey’s prime minister said Saturday during the station’s opening ceremony.
The wind plant would provide energy for 25,000 people when it functions in full capacity, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Saturday as he joined the opening ceremony of the plant in the mountainous region of Mut, in the province of Mersin. The plant currently generates electricity for 12,000 people.
The Ağaoğlu Group, a Turkish firm with investments in wind energy facilities and residential projects, built the Mut plant.
At the same time, the company also held a ground-breaking ceremony at the Şah wind power plant, which will generate 93 megawatts and provide electricity for 130,000 people in Bandırma, a district in the northwestern district of Balıkesir. The Şah wind power plant is expected to start generating electricity by December this year.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the wind power plant in Mersin, Ali Ağaoğlu, board chairman of the Ağaoğlu Group, said with the investments in Bandırma and Mersin, the group would supply nearly 10 percent of Turkey’s wind energy.
With the approval of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, the wind power plant in Mersin has started generating 33 megawatts annually which will be increased to 120 megawatts by next year, according to Ağaoğlu.
Bureaucracy and the referendum
In his speech, Ağaoğlu underlined the “slow-functioning bureaucracy” and asked for a more “investment-friendly environment” from the government for investors to increase their interest in renewable energy projects.
“I am not a person who complains all the time, but this is the situation,” he said. “Turkish entrepreneurs need less bureaucracy and more support.”
Prime Minister Erdoğan said Ağaoğlu had recently experienced these difficulties and claimed that the bureaucratic difficulties caused by the “the current constitution” emerged after the coup of 1980.
“The constitutional referendum – due Sept. 12 – would start up a new process which lessens the bureaucratic obstacles that investors face,” Erdoğan said.
The company finished the Mut facility in only six months, a project that would have taken 1.5 years under normal conditions, said Ağaoğlu, who spoke to journalists after the ceremony.
The company will also invest in solar energy Ağaoğlu told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review. “Unfortunately, generating electricity from the solar power plants is still considerably expensive since any investment would only reimburse itself after almost 20 years.”
The government should either provide a purchase guarantee or grant incentives for the entrepreneurs to invest in solar power plants, he said.