About the history and role of the Kapshagai hydroelectric power station in the life of the Almaty region

Kapshagayskaya HPP is a city-forming enterprise. It is located near the town of Kapshagai in the middle course of the Ili River. This year, the HPP celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Even 55 years ago, there was nothing man-made here, only the muddy waters of the Ili River flowed through the gorge below, but it was here, where the river valley narrows to 600 m, that the site for the construction of the hydroelectric power station was chosen. The power station is located in a narrow part of the riverbed between high rocky banks.
The idea of building a hydroelectric power station on the Ili River was put forward by many. However, it was first justified in the book "Technical and economic indicators of the Kapshagai hydroelectric power station on Ili", published in 1942, by a well-known Kazakh energy scientist, president of the Academy of Sciences of the republic - Academician Sh. Shokin. In September 2012, on the facade of the main building of the Kapshagai HPP, a memorial plaque to Academician Sh. Shokin.
The design of the Kapshagai HPP was carried out by the Kazakh branch of the All-Union Design and Survey Institute "Gidroproekt" named after S. Ya. Beetle in 1959, with the completion of the project in 1961 to 1964. The beginning of the construction of the HPP is considered to be in 1965, when the directorate of the future facility was created.

The first group of builders (23 people) arrived at the construction site of the HPP on January 23, 1963. Its task was to receive cargo arriving at the address of the construction site, to build temporary warehouses, a bridge over the Kaskelenka River for the export of goods to the construction site. During these years, there was a temporary settlement of hydro-builders, a cinema, a school, dormitories, then the construction of the microdistrict began.

In 1966, work began in the area of the main structures of the hydroelectric complex: the construction of compressor stations, workshops, and a canteen. The excavation of the pit of the supply channel, the clearing of the foundation for the Ruslov dam and the development of the pit of the first stage for the building of the hydroelectric power station have begun. On June 20, 1969, under the sounds of a festive march, a memorial plate was lowered to the bottom of the armokarkas of the HPP building, on which this date and the words "the first cube of concrete was laid in the Kapshagai hydroelectric power station..."were engraved. The First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR D. A. was present at the bookmark. Kunaev.

The River Ili was closed on September 29, 1969. In May 1970, the filling of the reservoir began. On October 1 of the same year, by order of the Council of Ministers of the Kazakh SSR, an operational enterprise "Kapshagayskaya HPP" was created as part of "Almatyenergo".

December 20, 1970-Director of Kapshagayskaya HPP B. G. Osipov launched and connected the first hydroelectric unit to the network. 7 days later, on December 27 of the same year, the second hydroelectric unit was connected to the network. The operational period (the period of equipment development) has begun. The last, fourth in a row, the unit was launched-on December 22, 1971.The year 1980 in the life of the energy complex of Almaty and the region is marked by the completion of construction work at the Kapshagai HPP.
 In the late 1980s, the HPP generators were upgraded, after which the heating losses of about 300 kW were reduced. Another upgrade was carried out in 1994-1995 to reduce ventilation losses. These works are carried out taking into account the fact that the station operates at low pressures and cannot develop the rated power of the generators. Since October 1, 1995, according to the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the HPP has been transformed into the state republican enterprise "Kapshagai hydroelectric power Station" with the withdrawal from the structure of "Almatyenergo" into direct subordination to the branch ministry. A year later, the HPP became a part of Almaty Power Consolidated CJSC. Since February 14, 2007-as a part of JSC "Almaty Electric Power Stations" ("AlES").
The design capacity of the HPP is 434 MW. The actual installed capacity (after relabeling in 1994) is 364 MW. The technology of electricity generation used at the HPP is based on the use of water runoff from the reservoir. Water flows through the supply channel into the water intake and through the turbine water pipes into the spiral chamber to the blades of the guide device. When the guide device is opened, the water passes through the hydraulic turbines, thereby rotating them and is discharged through the suction pipes into the downstream discharge channel.
In 2016, after clearing the riverbed. Or in the downstream, the station was able to reach the available capacity of 364 MW for the first time.
Having an insignificant consumption of electricity for its own needs (about 0.35%) and the lowest cost of electricity for the power system, the Kapshagai HPP served as a" lifesaver " in emergency situations as a very mobile reserve of generating capacity, which pulls up the financial well-being of the power system.
To increase the reliability of the equipment, ensure safe operation, improve the technical characteristics of the equipment, its reconstruction is carried out in stages.

Over the past 12 years, in order to improve the reliability and trouble-free operation of equipment at the station, a large-scale modernization has been carried out, namely, the reconstruction of the control system of hydraulic units of the excitation system of hydraulic units, the introduction of a vibration control system on the hydraulic unit (No. 2), the reconstruction of oil-pressure installations of the control system of hydraulic units and complete transformer substations, the installation of water meters in the turbine water pipelines of hydraulic units, the reconstruction of batteries and waterproofing of the cable tunnel of the OPU-220 kV, the reconstruction of the OPU-220 kV with the replacement of air switches to gas-fired ones, major repairs of the braking system were carried out, with the replacement of hydraulic unit braking columns, etc.
Since the beginning of operation of the HPP, consumers have generated about 53.756 billion kW / hours of electricity, an average of 1.1 million kW / hours per year. And in the most crowded year of 2010, the station generated 1.78 billion kW / h of electricity. Over these years, more than 673 cubic km of water was passed through the turbines of the HPP, an average of 13.5 cubic km per year.

More than one generation of power engineers received professional training at the station. Today, the Kapshagai HPP employs highly qualified specialists who are dedicated to their work. The staff of the Kapshagai HPP is optimistic about the future. This confidence is based on fifty years of experience in creative activity, values and traditions, its economic and intellectual potential, and the energy of professionals. The current generation of power engineers carefully operates the plant and does everything possible to pass on an efficient, reliable and efficient plant to the next generation of specialists.