RusHydro has launched Krasnogorsk small HPPs

28 april 2023

RusHydro has commissioned Krasnogorsk SHPP-1 and SHPP-2 with a total capacity of 49.8 MW in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic. The investment project was implemented as part of the state program for renewable energy development.

Mikhail Mishustin, the Chairman of the Russian Government, gave the order to start up the plants. The commissioning ceremony was also attended by Nikolai Shulginov, the Russian Minister of Energy.

Two small HPPs using a common dam 148 meters long and 31 meters high, are located on the Kuban river downstream of the active Zelenchukskaya HPP-PSPP. The capacity of each is 24.9 MW, with the average annual output of 85 million kWh of environmentally friendly renewable energy. The HPPs will save about 50,000 tons of coal every year, preventing atmospheric emission of about 160,000 tons of CO2.

Two hydropower units of 12.45 MW each are installed in the buildings of both SHPPs. The power generation complex facilities also include a spillway and a 475 meters long dike.

The construction of the small HPPs was started in 2019; the Kuban river was dammed in 2021. The hydropower units of the new plants were installed and put through comprehensive testing in late 2022 – early 2023. The Krasnogorsk SHPPs were designed by the Mosoblgidroproekt Institute, the general contractor is JSC ChirkeiGESstroy; both organizations are subsidiaries of the RusHydro Group.

The Krasnogorsk SHPPs increase the electrical energy supportability of Karachay-Cherkessia by 18% and will provide power to more than 230,000 people, or more than 50,000 households. Small HPPs will not only generate power but also level out the water level fluctuations in their reservoir occurring when the operating modes of the Zelenchukskaya HPP-PSPP change. This will eliminate seasonal constraints on the capacity of the HPP-PSPP, currently around 70 MW, and will create favorable conditions for the downstream water consumers including the water intake facilities of the Great Stavropol Canal. The Krasnogorsk SHPPs will optimize the water management in the Kuban river, enabling an increase in the power generation at the existing Kuban cascade hydropower plants by 250 million kWh annually.

RusHydro is implementing a development program for small-scale hydropower generation in the North Caucasus Federal District, which possesses the most favorable natural environment for the operation of small hydropower plants. Besides Krasnogorsk SHPPs, Verkhnebalkarskaya (10 MW), Ust-Dzhegutinskaya (5.6 MW) and Barsuchkovskaya (5.25 MW) SHPPs have already been constructed and put into operation, Cherekskaya (23.4 MW) and Bashennaya SHPP (10 MW) are currently being built, Verkhnebaksanskaya (23.2 MW), Nikhaloyskaya (23 MW) and Mogokhskaya (49.8 MW) small HPPs are being designed within the scope of this program. All projects have gone through competitive selection of investment projects to construct power generating facilities using renewable energy sources as per the Capacity Delivery Agreement ensuring return on investment into their construction.

Now the total capacity of RusHydro hydropower plants operated by the Karachay-Cherkess branch of the company is 356.66 MW. They include Zelenchukskaya HPP-PSPP, a unique power facility for Russia, which combines a hydropower plant and a pumped storage hydropower plant in one complex.

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