GE Renewables Completes New 500 MW Lower Kaleköy Hydropower Plant
GE Renewable Energy has successfully completed the Lower Kaleköy Hydropower plant at the Lower Kaleköy Dam in Turkey. Now that the last of three units has been connected to the grid, the plant has gone into full commercial operation. As leader in a consortium, Hydro Solutions has provided a total of three 155 MW Vertical Francis Turbines including the control system, the balance of plant and the switchyard for the hydroelectrical powerplant. With its 500 MW 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.
“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 utilizing 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 comprise both, a reinforced concrete dam body and an Asphalt Core Embankment Dam. In addition, it is the first hybrid power plant in Turkey with 500 MW hydro and 80 MW solar powerplant under the same license,” said Gültekin Keles, General Manager at Kalehan Energy Group.
GE Hydro Solutions built the turbines at its manufacturing facility in Taubate, Brazil. The first unit was completed in May 2020. Units two and three followed in November and December last year, allowing Kalehan Energy to bring 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. He added “I am very proud to see GE Hydro Solutions at the forefront of hydropower development in Turkey. As GE Renewable Energy, we have delivered one out of five operational turbines and one generator out of three under operation in the country since early 20th century.”
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. Before that, GE Hydro Solutions completed the Beyhan-1 and Upper Kaleköy hydropower plants. Turkey is a rich country in terms of hydroelectric sources. Although the level of installed Hydropower capacity is quite important with over 28.8 GW overall, eight GW of run of river plants, and 20.8 reservoir dams, there is still an additional economical potential of up to 50 GW. The country has seen a six percent annual average growth rate in energy demand over the past 15 years.