Vekon is supplying the profile structures for the Karapınar solar power project. Image courtesy of Vekon.
The 1GW Karapınar solar power project is being developed by Kalyon Enerji Group in collaboration with China Electronics Technology Corporation (CETC). Image courtesy of Kalyon Enerji Group.
The Karapınar solar power project is located in the Konya province of Turkey. Image courtesy of Hanwha.

The Karapınar solar power project, also known as the Karapınar YEKA solar power plant, is a 1GW photovoltaic (PV) solar power station under construction in the Konya Province of Turkey.

Kalyon Enerji, a subsidiary of Turkish conglomerate Kalyon Group, is developing the project in collaboration with China Electronics Technology Corporation (CETC) with an estimated investment exceeding £758m ($1bn).

While the construction works on the project were started in December 2019, the first modules of the facility were commissioned in September 2020.

Scheduled for completion and full-scale commissioning by August 2023, the Karapına solar farm is expected to generate approximately 2300 Giga-watt hours (GWh) of electricity annually which will be enough to meet the power demands of nearly two million Turkish households.

Location and site details

The Karapınar solar power project is located approximately 4.5km to the north of the D330 Konya-Adana Highway, in the Karapınar district, Konya Province, Turkey.

The 19.2km2 project site lies in the Central Anatolia region, approximately 100km away from the Konya airport.

Karapınar solar power project make-up

The Karapınar solar park will comprise up to 3.5 million ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) solar modules for a total net output of 1,000MW.

The other main components in the project include mounting (tracking) structures, DC/AC inverters, cable networks, transformers, substations, energy transmission lines, and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.

The project involves the construction of two electrical substations, one in the northern section and the other on the southern edge of the site. It will utilise 400kV, 154kV, and 33kV feeders along with IEC 61850-based substation automation system.

The Karapınar solar power project is planned to be developed in two phases, 200MW in phase one and 800MW in phase two.

Infrastructure facilities

The other infrastructure facilities for the project include stormwater management, water supply, and drainage systems, apart from site fencing, a control building, a spare parts storage facility, and site access, and an internal road network.

Power evacuation

The electricity generated by the Karapınar solar power station will be evacuated to the national electricity grid through two separate connections.

While a 400kV power transmission line will be connected to Yeşilhisar Substation, another 154kV power evacuation line will be connected to the Karapınar Substation for onward transmission into the grid.

Contractors involved

Kalyon Enerji Group entered into a joint venture agreement with China Electronics Technology Corporation (CETC) for the development of the Karapınar solar power plant along with a PV module manufacturing facility.

Genel Elektrik Sistemleri (GES) was awarded a turnkey contract for the basic and detailed design, equipment supply, erection, testing, and commissioning of the 400kV and 154kV substations for the project in November 2019.

Vekon started manufacturing and supplying the profile structures for the Karapınar solar power project in July 2020, while Chain Logistics was contracted for the transportation of solar panels.

Nexten Enerji was contracted for the construction and repair maintenance operations of the Karapınar project, while Vigi Group was contracted by the Kalyon Enerji and CETC consortium for the project management services in September 2019.

RINA Company was contracted for the preparation of the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) report for the project in 2020. RINA was also engaged to carry out the site survey and investigation in December 2017.

Karapınar solar power project background

The Karapınar solar power project was initially awarded to a consortium of
Hanwha Q CELLS and Kalyon Enerji in March 2017. Later, in 2019, China Electronics Technology Corporation (CETC) replaced Hanwha Q CELLS as the development partner of the solar project.

CETC, together with Kalyon Enerji also intends to establish a 500MW fully integrated PV manufacturing facility for the in-house production of solar panels in Ankara along with an onsite research and development centre. The capacity of the PV modules manufacturing facility is expected to be increased to 1,000MW by June 2021.