The Ilısu project, designed for 4.12 TWh per year, is about to partially come online. Turkey has estimated energy production at the biggest hydropower plant on the river Tigris would be worth almost EUR 330 million per year.
The first turbine has been tested at what will be the fourth-largest hydropower plant in the country, according to the Ankara-based General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works – DSİ. Turkey scheduled the start of production at the first two units at the 1.2 GW Ilısu hydropower plant on the Tigris river for May, the statement reveals.
The government has the ambition to get all six turbines going before the winter, as the June deadline was delayed. The facility is designed for an output of 4.12 TWh per year and the dam can store 10.5 billion cubic meters.
The new system will supply electricity to five provinces in Southeastern Anatolia
Turkey counts on annual energy production worth an overall TRL 2.5 billion (EUR 328.3 million) from the hydropower plant, the largest one on the Tigris. It will serve the provinces of Diyarbakır, Batman, Mardin, Siirt and Şırnak in Southeastern Anatolia.
Atatürk – Karababa, Karakaya and Keban are the largest dams in the country and they are all on the Euphrates.
Water retention at Ilısu started in July and the level has reached 115 meters by the time the dry tests were conducted. The volume has risen to 7.9 billion cubic meters compared to the formal minimum of three billion.
More than one hundred settlements have been relocated to make room for the lake. Several monuments were moved, including old mosques.
The direct capacity of the reservoir is 10.5 billion cubic meters
The dam’s crest length is 1,775 meters and its body is 135 meters high. The spillway allows the discharge of up to 17,000 cubic meters per second through six radial gates. The hydropower plant is located 45 kilometers from the border with Syria.
Of note, the first section of the Aşağı Kaleköy hydropower plant in the nearby Bingöl province was launched in April. It is projected for 500 MW. A part of the larger, 420 MW section of the Çetin complex on the Botan river in Siirt also came online.
Almost simultaneously, China Gezhouba and KAF Teknik joined General Electric in the plan to build a 1 GW pumped storage plant in the country’s west. Turkey is aspiring to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the republic in 2023 with the inauguration of several massive energy projects including the Ilısu hydropower project on the river Tigris.
The state controls its power production via its Electricity Generation Co., better known as EÜAŞ.