At Cloverly, we can help offset or avoid the carbon costs of everyday activities. (You can find details here.) To do that, we invest in a variety of green projects. Here's a look at one of the Guarantee of Origin projects in our portfolio, the Soma III Wind Farm in northwestern Turkey.
The Soma District of Turkey's Manisa Province lies in a rugged area 45 miles east of the Aegean Sea. Coal mines and a coal-fired power plant have historically anchored the economy. Now, the area is also becoming a center of renewable energy.
Soma's mines opened during World War I. They produce lignite, also known as brown coal. It's the lowest grade of coal, soft and crumbly. Its high moisture content makes it uneconomical to transport, so it's used most often in power stations built near the mines, as is the case in Soma.
The plant began generating power in 1957 with a capacity of 22 megawatts. Expansions and upgrades, most recently in 1991, have brought the capacity to 990 MW.
Turkey gets 34% of its electricity from plants powered by natural gas, all of which it has to import. Its potential wind resources are among the best in Europe.
"The demand for energy in Turkey is increasing," says a document from the Turkish-French wind energy company Polat Enerji, "as are the tensions in the region and the effects of climate change, making the use of clean, renewable energy that is not dependent on a foreign source even more important."
That document summarizes the plans for the newest phase of the Soma Wind Farm, Soma IV. Phase I, with 88 turbines and a total capacity of 79 MW, began generating electricity in 2009. Soma II (31 turbines, 61 MW) came online in 2012. Soma III (50 turbines, 100 MW) followed in 2015.
Soma IV is now being built and is scheduled to start producing power in February. That will add 12 turbines and 48 MW of capacity, for totals of 181 turbines and 288 MW.
The mountainous terrain works well for wind power. In general, the higher the altitude, the stronger and more reliable the wind. The town of Soma sits at an elevation of 528 feet, with higher peaks around it, most of them forested.
Soma III, the project in our portfolio, generates about 280 gigawatt-hours of power each year. That avoids about 167,000 metric tons (184,086 US tons) of carbon dioxide equivalents.