The Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Berat Albayrak, declared that Turkey is to hold a tender in December for a 1GW photo voltaic (PV) plant located near the city of Konya in central Turkey. The project is expected to start production by 2018, reported PV insider.

The solar park will cover an area of 2,000 hectares and produce 17TWh (terawatt hours) of electricity, an amount sufficient to power 600,000 homes. The project will benefit from a 15-year guarantee of purchase, according to Sun&Wind Energy.

In addition, the tender, will include clauses for the use of domestic research and development, as well as equipment produced in Turkey.  It will also address issues of employment, asking that 80 % of engineers involved in the project are recruited locally.

The Turkish government has set a target of 5GW of solar capacity by 2023 but grid limitations, licensing issues and significant domestic content requirements have held back utility-scale growth. Turkey’s total solar installed capacity was only 250MW by the end of 2015.