Zorlu Dogal Elektrik, a subsidiary of Turkey’s Zorlu Enerji, has commissioned the 65.5-MW second unit of its US$320 million Kizildere III plant on the border between the southwestern provinces of Aydin and Denizli.
With the second unit now generating the plant currently has an installed capacity of 165 MW – making it the largest in Turkey.
Zorlu now operates a portfolio of five geothermal plants, totalling 329.9 MW. Overall the company holds some 31% of Turkey’s total geothermal capacity across 40 sites totalling 1,100 MW, making it the largest geothermal operator in the country by a considerable margin.
The company also holds a so-called “pre-licence” for the 50-MW Alasehir III geothermal plant, for which it held a public consultation meeting last month, in line with the requirements of the environmental impact assessment submitted for the plant. The project is currently under consideration by Turkey’s Ministry for Environment and Urban Affairs.
In addition to the 1,100 MW of operational geothermal capacity in Turkey, a further six plants totalling 224 MW possess full generating licences and are currently under development, while another 17 projects totalling 501.6 MW hold pre-licences, which entitle the projects to be issued with full generating approvals once financial closure has been achieved. Applications for pre-licences are pending for another five projects worth some 69 MW.
Turkey ranks fourth in the world in terms of installed geothermal capacity after the US (3,590 MW), The Philippines (1,870 MW) and Indonesia (1,810 MW), and with its afore-stated 1,100 MW of installed geothermal capacity has already exceeded its official target of 1,000 MW by 2023.
Turkey’s main geothermal steam resources are located the central Aegean region, stretching inland from Izmir to Usak, the north Aegean region around Balikesir, as well as further sites in north central Anatolia around the capital Ankara and smaller reserves in the far east and north-east of the country.
Estimates for the country’s total geothermal potential vary and are subject to frequent increases as new reserves are discovered. However, the figure of 4,500 MW is often quoted as a theoretical potential for overall installed geothermal power generation capacity, while estimates for geothermal heating capacity may extend anywhere up to 60,000 MW.