Turkey, a country that has seen rapid economic growth since the 1980s, largely spurred by a shift in governmental strategy to open up markets and increase private participation, has been actively overhauling its power infrastructure to meet soaring electricity consumption. According to grid operator Turkish Electricity Transmission Co., national consumption increased to 17 billion kWh this September—an 11% increase over the 15.3 billion kWh consumed in September 2009.
The country recently joined—for a yearlong trial period—Continental Europe’s power grid to buy and sell power in the European power market. At the same time, it is rehabilitating operation and control systems and adding new capacity at a breakneck pace.
Among the newest installations is Cakmaktepe Energy’s 270-MW Aliaga power plant, a gas-fired power plant based on combustion engines that developer Wärtsilä claims is the largest in the world of its type. Inaugurated on Sept. 29, the plant was built in three phases: The first phase was contracted in 2006 and two extensions were added in 2008.
|3. Pieced together. Turkey inaugurated the Aliaga combined-cycle gas power plant, a facility based on 28 Wärtsilä 20V34SG gas engines that has a capacity of more than 270 MW. Wärtsilä claims that the plant is the largest in the world of its kind. Courtesy: Wärtsilä
The plant today features 28 Wärtsilä 20V34SG gas-fired generating sets (Figure 3). Six engines are already running, and the remainder are set to come online as soon as transmission lines serving the plant have been completed. Power produced by the plant will then be sold to the Turkish spot market.
—Sonal Patel is POWER’s senior writer