Capacity of Volzhskaya HPP Increased by 63 MW
Since June 1, the installed capacity of the Volzhskaya HPP has increased by another 63 MW and now amounts to 2 734 MW. This was due to modernization of six hydroelectric units, the capacity of each of which increased by 10.5 MW, as well as the removal of restrictions on the power output of the power plant to the power system.
The equipment was upgraded as part of RusHydro’s HPP Comprehensive Modernization Program, new hydroelectric units were manufactured by the enterprises of the Russian group of companies Power Machines.
Six hydroelectric units were replaced in 2017-2021, but the increase in the capacity of the power plant was held back by restrictions on the capacity of the power transmission lines outgoing from the power plant. Most commonly, such problems are solved by expensive and time-consuming construction of new power transmission lines. RusHydro specialists have found a more efficient solution – a phase-shifting transformer was installed at Volzhskaya HPP, for the first time in Russia. This innovative equipment allows redirecting power from more loaded sections of the electric network to the less loaded ones. The operation of the phase-shifting transformer has confirmed its design parameters, which allowed for remarking (documentary confirmation of the increase in capacity) of hydroelectric units.
Comprehensive Modernization Program of Volzhskaya HPP provides for the complete replacement of all 22 main hydroelectric units of the power plant. Currently, 22 hydro turbines and 17 hydro generators have been upgraded. It is planned to increase the capacity of the Volzhskaya HPP by another 10.5 MW, which will be possible after the planned modernization of the 500 kV open switchgear with the replacement of equipment with modern gas-insulated equipment and the installation of additional emergency automation systems at electric network facilities.
RusHydro is implementing the Comprehensive Modernization Program (CMP) for hydro-generating facilities, within which it is planned to replace half of the fleet of turbines, generators and transformers of RusHydro HPP and PSPP. Such a large-scale program of upgrading outdated and worn-out equipment is unique and unprecedented for the domestic power industry. Its peculiarity is the focus not on the selective replacement of individual units and assemblies, but on the comprehensive modernization of generating facilities as single technological complexes, with the replacement or reconstruction of the main and auxiliary equipment, general power plant systems, hydro-technical utilities.
Over the 10 years of the CMP implementation, the increase in the installed capacity of RusHydro hydroelectric power plants amounted to 465 MW, which can be compared to the construction of another large HPP. During this time, 128 hydro turbines, 114 generators, 86 power transformers, as well as more than 10 thousand units of auxiliary equipment were replaced or upgraded.