Baseload, Hydropower, Utility Scale

RusHydro Starts-Up New 640-MW Unit at Sayano-Shushenskaya, Two More Coming Soon

JSC RusHydro, Russia’s largest power-generating company, has announced that a new 640-MW hydropower unit has been commissioned at the company’s Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant (HPP), in addition to the other 8 hydropower units in operation at the plant.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last week congratulated the participants during the opening ceremony through a videoconference with the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP, which is the country’s largest hydro plant. The videoconference was part of the President’s visit to the Nizhne-Bureyskaya HPP in the Amurskiy region, which is currently under construction. 

With the additional unit, the combined operating production capacity is 5,120 MW. The Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP will add two another units to the eight (units) in June and in October, thus hiking the total capacity to 6,400 MW.

“The reconstruction of the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant has reached its final stage. In 2014 the plant will be fully equipped with new up-to-date equipment with enhanced performance characteristics that meet all safety and reliability requirements. The useful life of the new units has been extended to 40 years and maximum efficiency now reaches 96.6 percent,” Jurij Popov, a senior RusHydro communications specialist, told RenewableEnergyWorld.com. The units will also improve energy and cavitation features,” he added. For example, the turbines will be fitted with a more efficient process protection system, which will automatically shut down the unit in case of any inadmissible deviations.

The total cost of reconstruction is estimated at $1.2 billion, and $94.1 million is to be disbursed for the works in 2014, according to Popov.

The plant’s unit 4, the latest addition, was re-started in August 2010 following significant repairs after a major accident at the plant. The accident took place when the current RusHydro CEO Jevgenij Dod had just taken charge of the company and his first major challenge was handling the situation at the accident- ravaged Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP.

As a result, the plant’s unit 4 was decommissioned and reconstruction was ordered.

The necessary hydro power units for the plant are being manufactured by Power Machines, which is also responsible for equipment installation.

In 2013, power from the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP made up 20 percent of the total RusHydro generation, or 23.5 million kWh. For comparison, the hydropower plant produced 19.7 million kWh in 2011 and 19.09 million kWh in 2012.

“The generation capacity is expected to remain in the range of 25 million kWh after the reconstruction is completed,” Popov said.

Including the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP, the largest in Russia, RusHydro runs over 70 renewable energy facilities: 9 power stations in the Volga-Kama Cascade with a total installed capacity of more than 10,167 MW, including the 1330-MW Zeiskaya HPP – the first large-scale hydro-power plant in the Russian Far East, the 2, 010-MW Bureiskaya HPP, the 455-MW Novosibirsk HPP and dozens additional plants in the North Caucasus.

Lead image: The Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP