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GE’s Grid Solutions helps supply one million people with clean energy in Turkey
  • GE’s Grid Solutions connects new 500 MW Lower Kaleköy Hydropower plant to the grid in Turkey
  • Project includes balance of plant system and 420 kilovolts air-insulated substation for the hydroelectrical power plant

In February, GE Renewable Energy announced that the company successfully completed the Lower Kaleköy Hydropower Plant at the Lower Kaleköy Dam in Turkey. As leader of the consortium, GE Renewable Energy Hydro Solutions provided three 155 MW vertical Francis turbines, including the control system. As part of the project, GE’s Grid Solutions provided the electrical balance of plant system and four power transformers. Grid Solutions also provided equipment for the high voltage air-insulated substation comprised of eight live-tank circuit breakers, 15 earthing switches, and three knee-type and 21 pantograph disconnectors for the Lower Kaleköy project. In addition, three FKG2M generator circuit-breakers were also furnished to protect the power plant on one side and the grid on the other.

Grid Solutions manufactured the three FKG2M generator circuit breakers in Villeurbanne, France, at GE’s 100-year-old manufacturing excellence center for this kind of equipment. These circuit breakers are able to deliver 8000 A continuously and protect the power plant up to 80 kA of short circuit current, allowing the energization of the 500 MW power plant. They are designed to protect the surrounding equipment, including the generators and step-up transformer.

Generator circuit breakers are power plant devices located between the generator (which produces electricity at a voltage of around 15-25 kV) and the step-up transformer (which increases this voltage up to the grid transmission voltage – 200 kV to 800 kV). They play a key role in the protection of the transformer and the generator in case of fault (short circuit on the power transmission system). Their major function in normal operation is to connect and disconnect the generator to and from the grid with high availability and reliability. For decades, generator circuit breakers have existed for generator ratings ranging from 50 MVA to 1,400 MVA. Thousands of units are in service today throughout the world. Read more on Grid Solutions’ innovation magazine Think Grid

Grid Solutions delivered all three generator circuit breakers in the second half of 2019, and they were successfully commissioned in November that year. They will improve the overall life cycle cost of the power plant through efficient protection of the generators and transformers while simplifying synchronization to the grid. Kalehan Energy brought the power plant into commercial operation at the beginning of 2021, giving access to 1 million people in the country to clean power.

“We are very proud to be part of GE’s Hydro’s successful implementation of this new hydropower plant in Turkey,” says Arnaud Hubert, GCB Sales leader at GE’s Grid Solutions. He adds, “The combination of GE’s Hydro’s expertise in turbines and more generally in power plants with the savoir-faire of GE’s Grid Solutions connecting the plant to the high voltage grid allows GE Renewable Energy to be a partner of choice when and where empowering the world with clean energy matters.”