South Yorkshire firm’s £4bn solar deal with Turkish Government ‘back on track’

David Hawkins with Prime Minister David Cameron
David Hawkins with Prime Minister David Cameron
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The boss of a Barnsley firm behind plans for a £4.5bn solar panel deal with the Turkish government says he hopes it will be sealed by October.

David Hawkins, chief executive of Solar Europe, said final sign-off had been delayed after a general election in Turkey returned a hung Parliament.

But he believed it was still on the rails.

He added: “We obviously have no control over it, but I don’t see any problems once everything has calmed down. There should be a decision by September or October.”

The deal is to provide, supply, instal and service thousands of panels set to create the world’s largest solar farm – a 3-4GW facility – in the south of the country.

It is set to create up to 600 jobs in South Yorkshire and Wrexham and keep workers busy for a decade.

Solar Europa had hoped it would be signed by February, after more than three years putting it together.

But an inter-governmental agreement proved to be a “stumbling block” and it was replaced by a memorandum of understanding.

Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis queried the delay during Prime Minister’s Questions in February.

Mr Hawkins added: “We have a lot to thank Dan Jarvis for, his intervention made a big difference. We have had a lot of support from government, from Lord Livingstone, UKTI and Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber.”

After PMQs, Mr Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central, said he was in almost daily contact with Number 10 and he and Sheffield MP Angela Smith and Wrexham MP Ian Lucas had written to the PM.