PowerChina has agreed to team up with Turkish conglomerate Polat Holding to develop a 750MW solar park in Hungary.
The state-owned power giant, also known as Sinohydro, signed an MOU to contribute its design, technical, financing and operation expertise to the planned solar PV plant, according to its Tuesday (6 November) statement.
“The deal marked our first foray into the eastern European country’s power sector,” a spokesperson toldInframation. “It is a key Belt and Road project for us in Central Eastern Europe (CEE) and the deal will allow us to start advanced discussions with our partner on how to move the project forward.”
The PV plant is still in the preliminary planning stage and a formal deal will only be signed following an official tender process, he added.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who is on an official visit to Shanghai this week, said his government will provide full backing to the project. Furthermore, it will support future renewable and infrastructure business involving Power China International.
His government has stepped up efforts to bolster the renewables sector by relaxing regulations on construction and subsidising loans to farmers and companies for small solar projects. Over half of Hungary’s electricity comes from one nuclear power plant – Paks (2GW) – with another 29% imported, according to government figures.
Istanbul-based Polat Holding, controlled by billionaire Adnan Polat, invests in solar projects through subsidiary AP Energy and in wind through Meltem Energy. It developed the Soma RES project (240MW), Turkey’s largest wind plant, as well as the Geycek RES Wind Project (168MW), the third largest.
In July, Polat’s DNN Solar Partners bought Hungarian solar power plants totalling 45MW. The tycoon aims to invest USD 700m to develop a 1GW solar portfolio in the country over the next five years, he told local media last month. This would more than triple Hungary’s solar capacity (310MW) as of the end of 2017.
In January, Hungary replaced its feed-in-tariff scheme with the so-called Metár program, which includes an auction scheme for renewable plants exceeding 1MW. However, the government has yet to announce details or a timeline for an auction.