Energo-Pro has begun operating two new hydropower plants, the Karakurt and Alpaslan 2, in eastern Turkey. Capping the largest Czech investment in hydropower since November 1989, the project’s total investment exceeds $800 million.
The new dam with the Karakurt hydroelectric power plant is located in the Aras river basin, Alpaslan 2, on the Murat River. The water area of the Karakurt Dam will cover an area of 14 square kilometers, and the much larger Alpaslan 2 will cover 55 square kilometers. Hikelová said that the new Turkish power plants passed the necessary tests and managed to connect them to the grid and start commercial operation.
For both the Karakurt and Alpaslan 2 power plants, this is the launch of the first units, the first Francis turbines. “We managed to meet all the conditions for obtaining a guaranteed dollar tariff which will apply for the first ten years of the power plant operation,” said Pavel Váňa, Executive Director of the Energo-Pro Group.
The first of the turbines are currently in operation in both dams. The others will be launched at the turn of the year. A total of three Francis turbines with a total installed capacity of 99.5 megawatts (MW) will be installed in Karakurt, and four Francis turbines with a total installed capacity of 280 MW will be installed in Alpaslan 2. For comparison, the largest domestic dam Lipno has an area of about 49 square kilometers with an installed capacity of about 120 MW.
The remaining two turbines in Karakurt will be launched in November and December, according to the spokesman. The spillway of the dam with an asphalt core reaches a height of 137 meters. For its construction, Energo-Pro consumed 6.4 million cubic meters of excavated rock, which corresponds to about 360,000 loaded trucks.
The remaining three turbines in Alpaslan 2 will then be launched in December and February, according to Hikelová. Energo-Pro started constructing the dam of the local dam in September 2018 and completed it in two years. The volume of the dam body is 9.05 million cubic meters. The construction took place 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and up to 1,900 workers took part in the construction.
At both dams, Energo-Pro built a spillway with an asphalt core. According to the company, it proved to be the most suitable for local seismological conditions and it was also the fastest option in terms of implementation.
The company added that the connection of power plants to the grid this year resulted from obtaining a discounted guaranteed purchase price of electricity from January 2021. “If we take into account the expected electricity production, we could earn about $ 520 million in the first five years alone. Alpaslan 2 would “It was supposed to produce 850 gigawatt-hours (GWh) and Karakurt 340 GWh a year. Of course, the advantage is that we will have a fixed dollar tariff for ten years, which provides greater security for investors in renewable sources,” added the spokesperson.
Following the two new Turkish power plants’ connection, the group owns 38 hydropower plants in four countries – Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic. In addition to hydropower, it distributes and sells electricity and operates distribution networks in Bulgaria and Georgia, with more than two million customers.