A project is currently underway that will transform Kanal Istanbul into a structure that will meet all of Turkey's electricity needs. Kanal Istanbul is Turkey's key megaproject, and was originally announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2011. Some 14,000 megawatts per hour of electricity will be generated by an underwater turbine power plant, similar to a model that was implemented by Canadian researchers for deep sea use and planned to be installed in the Gibraltar Strait; a similar unit is also planned for Kanal Istanbul.
Turkey's current installed capacity is around 80,000 megawatts. The planned length of Kanal Istanbul is 45 or 56 kilometers. Eighty power plants, with 175 turbines each at 625-meter intervals, will carry a total of 14,000 turbines for the canal. The flow energy of the water will be utilized for electricity generation.
The project, whose patent was acquired by economist Fikret Bizimcan, was sent to the Prime Ministry and other ministries for approval. Bizimcan also presented it to the General Directorate of Renewable Energy. When the General Directorate recommended that he work with a university, the economist contacted Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ).
Speaking to the Sabah newspaper about the project, which has attracted special interest from the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, Bizimcan said the canal is reported to be 45 to 55 kilometers in length, 150 meters in surface, 120 meters in width and 25 meters in depth. He added that in this case, the strong lower and upper current power of the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea can be converted into electricity.
"This system can be applied to all seas. However, its installation into Kanal Istanbul in the construction phase reduces the investment cost," Bizimcan added.
Bizimcan said the project was patented by the Turkish Patent Institute in May 2011 with the number 2011/04331. Informing Sabah that the intervals of 625 meters were planned in order not to cut the flow rate of water. Bizimcan said that 14,000 turbines will be corrugated, noting that if they are installed as 80 power plants, it is possible to generate 56,000 megawatts of electricity per year. "Turkey's current installed capacity is 52,300 megawatts. So this project will meet all of Turkey's electricity needs if it is realized," he said.
Bizimcan stressed that it is possible to manufacture the turbines in Turkey. "The nice thing is that this technology can be used in our seas and rivers," he continued, recalling that the project was sent to the General Directorate of Renewable Energy for its submission to the Prime Minister. "The relevant ministries saw and approved the project," he added.
The amount of upper stream water entering the Bosporus from the Black Sea is 260 cubic kilometers/yearaccording to 2009 measurements. Water flowing from Marmara to the Black Sea amounts to 123 cubic kilometers/year.
"The water flowing from the Black Sea to the Marmara is 57 cubic kilometers/year; more than the Danube River. Compared to the flow rate of the world's greatest river, the Amazon, which is 378 cubic kilometers/year, it brings the Bosporus to the same level as the world's most important rivers," Bizimcan said.
He also underlined that if the width of the channel is 150 meters with a depth of 25 meters, the speed of the water going through will be very high, suggesting that this is suitable for energy production.