The Lower Kaleköy hydropower plant at the Lower Kaleköy Dam in Turkey has been completed, according to a GE Renewable Energy statement.
Now that the last of three units have been connected to the grid, the plant has gone into full commercial operation.
With its 500MW installed capacity, Lower Kaleköy will be the sixth-largest hydropower plant by installed capacity in Turkey developed by the private sector. Thanks to the new plant, about one million people will be supplied with clean energy.
Consortium leader Hydro Solutions provided a total of three 155MW Vertical Francis Turbines including the control system, the balance of plant and the switchyard for the hydroelectrical powerplant.
GE Hydro Solutions built the turbines at its manufacturing facility in Taubate, Brazil. The first unit was completed in May 2020 and the others were completed in November and December last year. Kalehan Energy brought the power plant into commercial operation.
“Congratulations to Kalehan Energy and all the parties involved on the successful start of commercial operations of the Lower Kaleköy Hydropower plant. The fact that the plant is now up and running is clear proof of the commitment and the resilience of the entire team that completed the project against the backdrop of the pandemic and the challenges that came with it,” said Pascal Radue, CEO of GE Renewable Energy Hydro Solutions.
Gültekin Keles, general manager at Kalehan Energy Group, said: “Today Turkey is only using 60% of its economical hydroelectrical potential. For us at Kalehan Energy, the Lower Kaleköy hydropower plant is a crucial milestone in making our vision a reality of Turkey utilising its national hydroelectric energy potential in the most efficient way and supplying its energy demand in an environmentally–friendly, clean and sustainable manner.
“Lower Kaleköy is also the first of its kind hydropower plant in Turkey with a composite dam body design, which comprises both, a reinforced concrete dam body and an Asphalt Core Embankment Dam. In addition, it is the first hybrid power plant in Turkey with 500MW hydro and 80MW solar powerplant under the same license.”
Located on the Murat River, Lower Kaleköy is the third project executed by GE in the same region on behalf of the Kalehan Energy Group.
Turkey is a rich country in terms of hydroelectric sources. Current installed hydropower capacity sits at over 28.8GW overall, including 8GW of run-of-river plants, and 20.8MW from reservoir dams. However, there is still an additional potential of up to 50GW.