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RusHydro inaugurates new hydropower plant

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Energy Global,

PJSC RusHydro announces an inauguration of 346 MW Zaramagskaya HPP-1 in North Ossetia. Yury Borisov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, Nikolay Shulginov, Chairman of the Management Board – General Director of RusHydro, Pavel Zavalny, Chairman of the Committee on Energy of The State Duma, Alexey Aleshin, head of the Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Nuclear Supervision of Russian Federation and Vyacheslav Bitarov, Head of Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, took part in inauguration ceremony.

Zaramagskaya HPP-1 is built on the Ardon River and the plant’s annual average electricity output is 840 000 MWh. It is the largest hydropower plant in the region and the third most powerful in Northern Caucasus after Irganayskaya HPP and Chirkeyskaya HPP, both in Dagestan. Due to its maneuverability the hydropower plant will be able to cover peak electricity consumption in the region’s power system.

Unique state-of-the-art solutions have been implemented during the plant’s engineering and design phase. Instead of building a dam to form a reservoir, a 14 km diversion tunnel (the longest of its kind in Russia) has been dug in the mountains to create a 609 m high water pressure that puts into operation two Pelton-type turbines.

Construction of Zaramagskaya HPP-1 was carried out in complicated natural conditions. The daily pondage basin, where water accumulates before dispatching to turbines, is located in the mountains 1600 m above the sea level and the powerhouse sits at the mountain gorge. The HPP’s facilities are not only designed to withstand magnitude 9 earthquakes, but they are organically blended into surroundings and have minimal effect on the environment.

Zaramagskaya HPP-1 is part of a single hydro-electrical complex, which includes the 15 MW Head HPP responsible for supplying water filtrated from sand to the diversion tunnel. Construction of the complex began in 1978 and since its start, the project faced multiple financial and organisational challenges. For many years, construction has been put on halt, only to resume in 2006 after being handed over to RusHydro for completion. In 2009, the company commissioned Zaramagskaya Head HPP with installed capacity of 15 MW and in 2015 finalised the construction of the diversion tunnel. Finally, in 2017 construction of Zaramagskaya HPP-1 began.

The commissioning of Zaramagskaya HPP-1 will greatly contribute to the social-economic development of the Republic of North-Ossetia Alania. Importantly, the power plant is built under a Capacity Supply Agreement.

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