1. Related Legislation:

Renewable energy sector in Turkey is governed and managed principally by the Law on Utilization of Renewable Energy Resources for the Purpose of Generating Electrical Energy No. 5346 and dated 10.05.2005, Electricity Market Law No. 6446 and dated 14.03.2013, Electricity Market License Regulation ("License Regulation") dated 02.11.2013 and the Regulation on the Unlicensed Electricity Generating in Electricity Market ("Unlicensed Electricity Regulation") dated 02.10.2013.

In principle, each legal entity willing to operate in electricity market must obtain license separately for its each activity before start up. However, there are some activities which can be carried out in the electricity market without license regulated under the Unlicensed Electricity Regulation.

2. Pre-application Period:

Legal entities willing to establish generation facilities based on solar power should apply to the Energy Market Regulatory Authority ("EMRA") in order to participate in the public solar power licensing contest. In this respect, the applicant entities must fulfill some requirements requested by law. On solar power basis, the most important requirement is to collect solar measurement data at the site where the facility shall be established, for a period of at least one year within the most recent three years, with 6 months registered on site, in accordance with the terms and conditions regulated under the License Regulation. After the collection of the measurement data, the results of the measurement must be approved by the MGM or the relevant Accredited Entity and then submitted to the application file required for the contest.

In the first phase of the license application, the awarded applicant in the contest will be issued a preliminary license during the pre-construction of the generation facility. The main license would be issued only after the requisite permit procedures have been completed by the preliminary licensee.

3. Pre-licensing Period:

Pre-licensing period for solar power may take for 24, 30 or 36 months depending upon the installed capacity of the generation facility. During the pre-licensing period, the pre-licensee company shall obtain the required permits, approvals, documents and licenses to start the construction and also secure title of or the right to use the relevant land. In this pre-licensing period, required documents which are listed in the decision of EMRA No. 4709-7 published on 28th November 2013 can be classified in accordance with the placement of the generation facility, permits regarding the generation plant, documents and information regarding the structure of the shareholders, payment documents including letter of guarantee and pre-license fee.

4. Licensing Period:

Following the end of the pre-licensing period, the owner of pre-license shall apply for license by submitting demanded additional documents mentioned in the above indicated decision of EMRA. If all the required documents are obtained in pre-licensing period and additional requirements are fulfilled, the owner of the pre-license may obtain license. According to the License Regulation, generation licenses are granted for a minimum of 10 years and for a maximum of 49 years. Other than expiration of the term, licenses are terminated upon request of the generator or if the generator is declared bankrupt or no longer fulfills the licensing conditions.

Since the generation license entitles the holder to construct and operate the generation facility, the owner of the license shall start with the construction of the generation facility of which details are specified on the license. According to the decision of EMRA No. 4711 published on 28th November 2013, the construction period for the generation facilities based on solar power is determined as 22, 30 or 36 months depending on the installed capacity of the generation facility.

The current pre-license applications made to EMRA in June 2013 for Turkey's first-ever solar energy licenses to build up to 600 MW of solar projects. In May 2014, first two pre- licenses were awarded. One to Erzurum for 5MW and another to Elazığ for 8MW. The remaining projects are expected to be finalized by EMRA in 2014.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.