ALES - Cascade of hydroelectric power plants


The construction of a cascade of hydroelectric power plants on the Bolshaya Almatinka River was provided for by the GOELRO plan back in 1920. In the pre-war period, the only source of electricity supply to the city of Alma-Ata was the Alma-Ata CES.

With the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the State Defense Committee of the USSR decided to build a cascade of hydroelectric power stations on the Bolshaya Alma-Atinka River to provide electricity to factories and enterprises evacuated from the European part of the USSR.

Kaskad GES

The design and preparatory work was started by the Leningrad branch of the Institute "Gidroproekt" in 1942, and since April 1943, the construction of the first power plants began directly. The construction was carried out by the method of folk construction, which was attended by over 6 thousand residents of the city, military personnel, prisoners of war, prisoners. The work was poorly mechanized and all labor-intensive operations were performed almost manually. Selfless work in the most difficult conditions allowed already in April 1944 to put into operation the first - born of the future cascade-HPP-11, as the newspaper "Kazakhstanskaya Pravda" published on May 1, 1944. On September 5 and September 17 of the same year, HPP - 5 and HPP-9 were given electric current to the city, respectively. In the same year, the construction of HPP-6 and HPP-7 was started and completed in 1946. In March 1948, HPP-8 was put into operation.


In August 1943, the directorate of the Hydroelectric Power Plant Cascade under construction became part of the Kazakh Regional Energy Department "Kazakhenergo". Thus, the actual date of formation of the enterprise Cascade of Almaty HPPs can be considered the date of formation of "Kazakhenergo", and subsequently REU" Almatyenergo", POE" Almatyenergo", CJSC APK, that is -1943. However, the official date of the formation of the Cascade of hydroelectric power plants as an enterprise within Kazakhenergo was adopted-August 9, 1948.
The creation of the first stage of the cascade of power plants has practically eliminated the shortage of electricity in the power system. At the same time, the work on the use of the hydro resources of the Bolshaya Almatinka River continued. In October 1953, the Ozernaya HPP-1 was put into operation with three Italian units of the Ansaldo San Giorgio company, which are still operating. It should be noted that HPP-1 is the highest-pressure hydroelectric power station in the entire space of the former USSR (H=532 m).

With the commissioning of HPP-2 in July 1959, the construction of hydroelectric power stations using the energy potential of the Great Almaty Gorge was completed.
In the period from 1950 to 1960, the generation of electricity by the power plants of the HPP Cascade in the total balance of the Almaty power system was 50-60 %. Now the share of annually generated electricity in the total volume of the power complex of JSC "AlES" does not exceed 5-6 %.

Nevertheless, in addition to generating cheap electricity, the HPP Cascade plays an important role not only in providing environmentally friendly water to the southern part of Almaty, but also the self-development of power plants, which, in case of severe system accidents with the collapse of the power system, loss of intersystem connections, complete repayment of sources, will provide electricity for the own needs of the nearest thermal power plants. The possibility of such a situation is confirmed by life, by the real events of the system accident of 1986.

After the reform of the Agroindustrial Complex JSC, Cascade HPP began operating on February 15, 2007. as a part of JSC "Almaty electric stations".

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