Star – Turkey’s vastly underutilized geothermal energy sources are becoming the focus for foreign investors. A letter of intent signed between Turkey’s Sun Group and Japanese-owned Italian manufacturer of Organic Rankine Cycle turbines Turboden envisages the development of two geothermal sites in Turkey’s Aegean provinces of Canakkale and Manisa.
Inked at the Turkey-Italy Economic Forum held in Rome during Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s visit to the country, the deal involves the planning, investment and technology transfer between the companies to build two 100-megawatt (MW) geothermal power plants in the said regions at a total cost of EUR 300 million.
“Turkey is among the leading countries in the world in terms of geothermal potential; however, the utilization of geothermal resources to generate electricity is just beginning to take off. Incentives provided by our government in this regard are instrumental in harnessing this renewable and domestic energy source”, said a statement from the Sun Group regarding the deal. The Sun Group company Yeni Basak Enerji holds three geothermal drilling licenses in Canakkale and one in Manisa.
Turkey ranks 7th in the world and 1st in Europe when it comes to geothermal resources, according to data from the Mineral Research and Exploration Agency of Turkey (MTA). The country’s installed capacity using geothermal resources reached 250 MWs as of September, 2013. The theoretical power generation potential is estimated to be 31,500 MWs.