Cascade of hydroelectric power stations: milestones of history

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The cascade of HPP turned 70 years old. Is this a lot or little? And what role does the Cascade HPP play and play in the system of production and economic activity in Almaty? For this we must remember how and for what it was created. Before the war, Alma-Ata could not be called large industrial city.

The population was estimated at 200 thousand people, the production was mainly semi-handicraft and non-power-consuming. The city did not experience an acute need for consuming large amounts of electricity, and accordingly the generating capacities were insignificant.

Everything changed with the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. The enemy occupied the European part of the USSR, where the main industrial enterprises working for defense were concentrated, and came very close to Moscow and Leningrad. There was a real threat of losing the industrial base, which could lead to the collapse of the country. In these difficult conditions, part of the plants were evacuated to the eastern part of the USSR. In particular, in Alma-Ata were evacuated from Ukraine plant them. Kirov and three shops of the Voroshilovgrad locomotive plant named after. October Revolution (the future of AZTM), which began to produce military products. In addition, tens of thousands of specialists, members of their families and simply evacuated population moved to Alma-Ata. All this led to a sharp increase in the demand for electricity, and generating capacity for this was not enough. Therefore, with the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War, the State Defense Committee of the USSR adopted a decision on the construction on the river. Big Alma-Atinka cascade of hydroelectric power stations.

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Design and preparatory work was started by the Leningrad branch of the Institute "Hydroproject" in 1942, and from April 1943 the construction of the first power plants began.

Now it is even difficult to imagine the conditions under which people worked. The work was poorly mechanized and all labor-intensive operations were carried out almost manually. Instead of vehicles - horses and bulls. Here are just a few fragments from the memories of the veterans of the Cascade of HPPs, who participated in the construction:

"They started construction with one ax and a shovel" (Glodan D.M.).

"How can you remember that we had to do so much, not even believing it. It was difficult, oh, how difficult it was (Stanislav Kh.A.).

"How many stretcher we carried with Masha Breusova! The earth is rocky, everyone did it by hand, but did it, they did not complain "(A.Polygalova).

"Of course, no conditions in which we now live, were then, we lived in dugouts" (Volchanovskaya N.)

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These memories were recorded many years ago, and almost none of the builders of the Cascade of HPPs are no longer alive. It is more important to remember about people whose work was created in our hardest conditions by our enterprise.

Many of them were the founders of the working dynasties, whose children and grandchildren later worked and worked in the Cascade of hydroelectric power stations.

Their selfless labor allowed already in April 1944 to put into operation the first-born of the future Cascade - HPP-11. In September of the same year, electric current was given to the city of HPP-5 and HPP-9. In 1945, HPP-10 was put into operation, and in 1946 construction of HPP-6 and HPP-7 was completed. In March 1948, HPS-8 was put into operation. The official date for the formation of the Cascade of HPPs, as an operational enterprise in the Kazakhenergo, was adopted on August 9, 1948.

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The war is over, but the role of the Cascade of HPPs in the life support of Alma-Ata has only increased. The creation of the first stage of the cascade of power plants virtually eliminated the electricity deficit in the power system. At the same time, work on the use of hydro resources of the Great Alma-Atinka River continued. In October 1953, GES-1 Ozernaya was commissioned. It should be noted that HPP-1 is the most high-pressure hydroelectric power station in the entire area of ​​the former USSR (H = 576 m).

With the commissioning of HPP-2 in July 1959, the construction of hydropower stations using the energy potential of the water resources of the Greater Alma-Ata Gorge was completed.

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In the period from 1950 to 1960 years generation of electricity by the power plants of the Cascade of HPPs in the total balance of the Almaty energy system reached 50-60%. Now the share of annually generated electricity in the total output of AlES JSC does not exceed 5-6%. Electricity generation in 2017 amounted to 198 170 thousand kWh, and the average annual output for the last 3 years - 190.0 million kWh.

Over the entire period of its existence, the enterprise produced 14.5 billion kWh. What is the future of the Cascade of HPPs, what are the prospects for the company? There is no unambiguous answer to this question. Of course, with the steady increase in energy consumption in the Almaty region, the importance of the Cascade of HPPs as an energy generating company is growing every year. However, technically, the possibilities of maintaining generation at the same level are not unlimited. All the main equipment is in operation for the third regulatory operational period, spare parts for it have not been produced for a long time. The problem is further aggravated by the fact that out of 13 exploited hydrounits, 8 - foreign production. The problem of large-scale reconstruction and modernization of the Cascade of HPPs has long been ripe. And it's not even about the possible increase in the generating capacity of new equipment, but in guarantees for the personnel of its reliable and safe operation. After all, the general wear and tear of equipment, in which repair and replacement of individual units does not reduce the emergency technological risks, threatens the life of the personnel. To this end, a few years ago, KazGIDRO LLP developed a feasibility study on Reconstruction and modernization of the Cascade of HPPs. In accordance with the feasibility study, the reconstruction of HPP-1 and HPP-2 was planned, as well as the construction of a new HPP-12 instead of planned for dismantling of HPP-9, 10 and 11. At the same time, the total installed capacity of the Cascade of HPPs should have increased by 9.2 MW. However, for a number of reasons, the project works started on the basis of the feasibility study were canceled. At present, they can not simply be renewed, because the natural and social conditions in which the enterprise operates have radically changed.

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After all, the Cascade HPP operates on a renewable natural source for electricity generation - water. And the area of ​​glaciers, which form it, has halved in the last 50 years. In addition, there is an intensive development of the Bolshaya-Alma-Ata Gorge in terms of construction of housing and infrastructure facilities. In this regard, a significant part of the water resources is selected by secondary water users from hydraulic structures for the derivation of the Cascade of HPPs, which directly affects the amount of electricity generated. At the same time, the emphasis in the further use of water resources is slowly but steadily shifting from the energy needs to priority water consumption for domestic purposes. So, according to some data, the volume of planned water consumption of the ski resort "Kok-Zhailyau" under construction will lead to a revision of the operating regime of the BAO and a possible limitation of the HPP. Therefore, to resume the process of preparing the reconstruction of the Cascade of HPPs, it is necessary to develop a new water balance in the basin of the B.Almatinka river - existing and perspective for the period up to 2040 - and on its basis to carry out research on the provision of water resources generating capacities of the Cascade of HPPs. And from here it is already decided how much equipment should be installed in place of the old one. But this business though and the nearest, but the future. And now the collective of the Cascade HPP is doing everything in its power to maintain a permanent reliable operating condition of generating capacities and an annual steady level of electricity production.

In recent years a lot has been done. With the introduction of the new cable trestle of HPP-6 - HPP-7, the cases of emergency shutdown of HPP-6 ceased because of the damage to the 6 kV power cables connecting them, previously running through private landholdings. The pipeline was replaced and the damper of idle water conduit HES-6 was arranged. Experimental operation of a new impeller with demountable buckets, installed on A-2 HPP-2, is underway. The engineering protection of the objects of the Cascade of HPPs is increasing. At a number of station nodes and production facilities, reliable perimeter fencing and video surveillance systems have been installed. This work continues. The system of water consumption accounting for primary and secondary water consumption was put into operation. In terms of reducing production costs, heating facilities previously supplied with heat centralized on a contract basis, transferred to an autonomous, from the object gas boiler. All this became possible thanks to the existing veterans of production, a vast experience, the conscientiousness of which is still a vivid example for the young generation of power engineers. More than twenty years have been working at the enterprise and transferring their knowledge Voinov V.V., Chesnakov O.V., Radchenko S.I., Linnik S.M., Kulishov A.V., Vinitskiy S.V., Kiselev S.V., Subbotin S.A., Dolgalev V.N. and others. For 10-15 years Pryanishnikov N.S., Mironenko T.V., Chasovnikova N.G., Vasilyeva S.V., Vinitskaya A.V., Kulishova G.P., Sattarov S.A., Kolesnikov AA, Kulishov A.V. and others have been actively and fruitfully working.

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Many of those who stood at the origins of the enterprise, formed a working dynasty, such as the dynasty of the Semenovs, Uzdenovs, Rasskazovs, Popovs and Vasilievs. A bright memory for those who are no longer with us. These are Vorobyev I.Y., Levin P.A., Nesterova L.I., Nikitin V.N., Kruglov V.F., Mikhailov V.I., Kostenkova O.A., Obydenna O.T., Rosenblit M.L., Dolgopolov G.A., Dzhumanov A.S., Semenov S.S., Korshunov A.G., Rasskazov N.P., Belida N.I., Lapshin B.I., Buryakov L.I., Golushko O.F., Maltsev A.S., Churkin Yu.M., Borodin G.Yu., Sattarova N.A., Dankov A.Ya., Shiposhin A.P., Chukreev P.P. and many others.

I especially want to dwell on the role in the fate of the Cascade HPP Mukaev Bolat Ualikhanovich, the ex-managing director from 1996 to 2016. Having headed the enterprise in a very difficult time, in the era of non-payments, months of salary delays and scanty financing, he managed to breathe a second life into the Cascade of HPPs. A highly professional power engineer, a principled and strict but fair leader, he was able to enthrall the collective of the enterprise, to believe in the possibility of a revival of the enterprise. And he succeeded.

Today, the Cascade of HPPs is an operating unique facility that serves as a model for the effective solution of energy tasks in the context of using renewable natural resources for this purpose and, what is especially important now, with no harmful impact on the environment. Despite its venerable age and associated inevitable changes and some losses (in 2000 the installed capacity of the Cascade of hydroelectric power stations was 47.7 MW, now 46.9 MW.

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The Cascade of HPPs is and will remain a reliable link in the power system of Almaty. A pledge to this is a highly professional team, who knows and loves their work.