Turkey’s economic growth over the past decade has led to an annual average rise in energy consumption of 8.5%, mainly met, to date, from power generated from imported fossil fuels. As well as increases in GHG emissions, this has led to increases in local air pollutants, which this project will avoid. There is widespread agreement that Turkey needs immediate and substantial investment in its power infrastructure if the country is to continue on its economic growth trajectory.
Despite legislation to liberalise Turkey’s energy sector in 2003, significant barriers remain for the development of renewable energy projects by private companies. Turkey’s hydroelectricity potential is excellent, however tariff and regulatory uncertainties as well as high upfront costs mean the technology cannot compete against fossil fuel based alternatives without carbon finance. This project will help to demonstrate the feasibility of grid connected run-of river hydropower plants developed by the private sector, thereby encouraging further projects.
Construction of the project started in 2007 and involved the construction of a 37.3MW hydroelectric power plant, connection canals, and penstock. Lamas Hydropower project is made up of 2 run-off river hydropower plants, Lamas III and Lamas IV, with a total installed capacity of 37.3MW. It is within the province of Mersin, on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. The plants were completed and connected to the grid in 2009, electricity generation was lower than expected during the first two years due to conditions of drought and the first issuance of VERs was postponed to early 2011.
During the construction of the plants close to 100 local residents found work and the project continues to support local socio‐economic development. In an area known for its citrus farms, construction was timed not to affect citrus harvests in yield or quality. Drinking and irrigation pipelines to two local villages were upgraded from PVC to steel to prevent leakage and improve health issues related to the use of PVC. Water storage pools at local farms were improved and approach roads constructed for the project now facilitate farmers’ access to remote orchards. The project owner worked closely with the local municipality and donated substantial amounts of building material for local construction projects.
The project is located near Erdemli in Mersin province on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Two run‐of‐river hydroelectric power plants have been constructed with a capacity of 15.4 MW and 21.9 MW respectively. The electricity of approximately 150 GWh annually is to be fed into the grid, which is still largely dominated by fossil fuels. The two plants are positioned along the Lamas river, using a 40m long weir and a conveyance tunnel of more than 5 kms to redirect water to the turbines.
The two power house units are connected to each other with a water transmission canal and penstock of 760m.Tail water from the plant is connected back to the river.The location of the hydroelectric power plants in a previously uninhabited area, was carefully chosen to preclude the need for any relocation or flooding of arable land.
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