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“The energy system in the east of Russia is developing rapidly”

Vitaly Sungurov, General Director of the branch of JSC SO UES of the ODU of the East, on plans for the development of the power system

The main objective function of the System Operator of the Unified Energy System is to ensure reliable operation of the Unified Energy System of Russia. The company's specialists solve many complex and important tasks, such as forecasting electricity consumption and power, planning the electricity mode, round-the-clock management of power facilities - power plants, substations of voltage class 110 kilovolts and above, which are large consumer power centers. An equally important task aimed at maintaining the reliable operation of the power system in the future is to ensure its future development. In an interview with EastRussia, Vitaly Sungurov, Director General of the Joint Dispatching Board of the Eastern Energy System (ODU of the East) of JSC SO UES, shared the “strategic” and “tactical” plans for the development of the energy system.

“The energy system in the east of Russia is developing rapidly”

- Vitaly Leonidovich, the ODU of the East has been around for more than 50 years. It is difficult to imagine the energy of the Far East without your organization.

- It is difficult, and do not need to do that. The entire history of the ODE, which began in the 1968 year, is inextricably linked with the history of the United Energy System of the East. Until the end of the 1960s, there was virtually no “big” energy in the east of the country. Despite the high growth rates of cities and industry, the region’s energy sector still included a multitude of isolated, isolated energy systems, energy districts and energy centers. There was a need for their unification, without which further dynamic development of the entire south of the Far East was unthinkable - working as part of an energy union radically changes the situation in terms of reliability and improves the economy of the electric power industry. Power plants connected by power grids serve as a reserve for each other in emergency situations, in addition, dispatchers have the opportunity to load more economical stations to save fuel and reduce the cost of electricity.

16 May 1968 by order of the USSR Ministry of Energy and Electrification No. 55А, the United Dispatching Office of the East Energy Systems was established with its headquarters in Khabarovsk. By December of the same year, a young team of ODUs of the East consisted of eight people, they had only a telephone and a primitive frequency meter at their disposal. Specialists studied the operating modes of power systems and power areas, worked through the most important issues of future development - the construction of the backbone electrical network was already underway and the first contours of the future ECO were visible.

In just two years, the United Energy System of the East was born - along the 220 kV transmission lines, they were switched to parallel synchronous operation of the power systems of the Amur Region and the Khabarovsk Territory. The total installed capacity of the power plants of the newborn energy union, in the territory of which a real industrial boom was observed, which continuously increased power consumption, was 683 MW, which is slightly more than 6% of the current. At that time, there were no powerful hydroelectric power stations that transformed the Amur Region into the energy store of the Far East, and therefore even a relatively small flow of electricity from the Khabarovsk Territory weakened the long-term problem of the Amur Region - an acute shortage of generation.

20 May 1971 was organized around the clock operational dispatch control of parallel operation of two power systems. The control panel then replaced the energy bonding scheme drawn up on a sheet of drawing paper. Communication was carried out via the usual long-distance line — in order to give the dispatching team to a power station in the Amur Region, the dispatcher had to place a call on a telephone exchange, like any resident of a city or village. There were no telemechanical means of transmitting information that allowed monitoring the state of dispatch objects in real time. As you understand, the dispatching control of the United Energy System could then be called operational only conditionally.

- When did the technical equipment of the control center change?

- Pretty soon. The functions of the ODU of the East in the structure of Glavseverovostokenergo were very broad. The main task was the operational dispatch management of the power systems of the OES East, to ensure the reliability and efficiency of power supply to consumers. At the same time, the responsibility zone also included isolated energy systems from Transbaikalia to Chukotka. There, the ODU, in particular, coordinated the introduction of automated dispatch control systems, dealt with fuel supply issues, analysis of technical and economic indicators.

The first half of the 1970-s had a period of active construction of the backbone network with 220 kV voltage in regional power systems: Amur, Far Eastern (now Primorsk), Magadan, Sakhalin, Khabarovsk, Chita and Yakutsk. In 1971, the electric connection between the Khabarovsk and Primorsk energy systems appeared, and in 1977, they were switched on to work in parallel. Introduced new large-scale power: started up the first hydraulic unit of the Zeya hydroelectric station, the first turbine unit at Vladivostok and Primorye SRPS CHP-2, completed the construction of the Khabarovsk CHP-1, work began on the creation of the first in the Far East LEP 500 kV from the Zeya hydroelectric station to Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk-on- Amure.

In the expanded power interconnection, the need has already arisen to create emergency control systems. In 1978, the first complex in the east of the country was commissioned in the 220 – 500 kV network adjacent to the Zeiskaya HPP. It was the first time in the USSR that electric braking of hydraulic units was successfully applied. A little earlier, in August 1976, the first stage of the automated dispatching control system of the ODU of the East was accepted for commercial operation.

It was impossible to manage such an economy without dedicated communication channels, remote signaling and telemetry, and a dispatch board. In 1972, the first dispatcher board of the Electropult plant appeared at the disposal of the dispatchers. Two years later, the BESM-4М digital computer, the first for the Far Eastern energy, was introduced into the ODU, which significantly accelerated the calculation of the UES East electric power mode, previously performed with an arithmometer and a slide rule. In 1981, a new phase began in the operational dispatch management in the Far East: the operational information complex KP-4.0.M was developed by the Moscow branch of the Energosetproyekt institute - a distant prototype of modern digital dispatch control and data acquisition systems SCADA.

In 1980, the South-Yakutsk Energy Region of the Yakutsk Energy System was included in the East OES, and in the 1981 and 1990 years, respectively, the Komsomolsky and Sovgavansky energy districts of the Khabarovsk energy system. Then, for three decades, the boundaries of the energy association did not change. In fact, the integrated development of the Far Eastern energy industry has stopped for more than a decade.

It was only at the beginning of 2000-x that the Bureyskaya HPP was put into operation, new lines and substations of 500 kV were built, and operational-dispatch control was improved both technically and organizationally.

The most important event for the entire Russian power industry was the creation of the System Operator in 2002, a special state-owned company that solely manages the operational dispatch management in the power industry. In Russia, this company is organized according to the model of a system operator independent of the rest of the industry, which allows it to remain “above the fray” - to manage the power system, guided only by reliability considerations. In recent years, more and more countries are moving to this model, where historically operational dispatch management has been part of the functionality of grid companies. In August, the 2002 East ODU was transformed into a branch of the System Operator. Then, from the vertically integrated regional energy companies, regional dispatch offices were selected - RDU - as branches of the System Operator. Now there are four regional branches subordinate to the ODU of the East: Khabarovsk, Amur, Primorsk and Yakutsk.

More recently, January 1, 2019, an event occurred without exaggeration of a historical scale - for the first time since the USSR times, the borders of the Eastern Unified Energy System were expanded: the Central and Western regions of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic power grid were joined.

- Why this became possible only now, if South Yakutia entered the OEC of the East for a long time?

- The electric power industry is one of the basic sectors of the economy; without electric power, the development of the economy is impossible. And, therefore, if the economy is in a recession, then there is no need for the advanced development of the power complex. Until recently, there was no real need justifying the expensive network construction for connecting the Central and Western energy districts of Yakutia. The situation has changed dramatically with the construction of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean trunk pipeline. The implementation of this large-scale project is associated with the construction of the corresponding electric grid infrastructure necessary for the power supply of substations supplying pump stations in the first place. The 220 kV transit lines under construction can also be used to organize parallel operation of the Western Energy Region with the IES of the East. Such a chance could not be missed.

At the same time, an impulse was received for the implementation of the long-considered project of joining the Central Energy District. Although it was already planned to construct a generating facility at the Yakutskaya State Regional Power Station Novaya - to replace the outdated generating capacities of the old Yakutskaya State District Power Station, it still could not replace it with the first stage of the new thermal power plant.

- Why did it have to create a new branch of the System Operator - Yakutsk RDU to manage the connected energy districts of the Yakutsk energy system? After all, they had already been managed by Yakutskenergo.

- According to the Federal Law “On Electric Power Industry”, the UES of Russia is managed by the System Operator. This provision of the law, adopted in 2003, has great meaning and technological expediency. The system of operational dispatch management of the UES of Russia is a well-built hierarchy built on uniform standards, the same for all rules and using unified equipment and software. This is the only way to achieve instant transfer of information and commands between all levels. There is no other way to manage such a complex technological “organism”, especially in today's market conditions, when the networks and generation belong to different owners. In the Unified Energy System, equipment shutdown or failure in one part of it very quickly affects the functioning of all the other parts of it. Compensate for changes and achieve sustainable operation of the power system and reliable power supply to consumers is possible only within a single hierarchically structured management structure. No contractual relationship between the authorities in the context of, for example, an accident can provide control over the situation.

That is why 1 February 2016 of the year opened the fourth Far Eastern regional dispatch office of JSC SO UES - Yakutsk. And on January 1, 2019, in 00 hours, the 00 minutes of operational dispatch control functions were taken in full. Already January 2 with the UES of Russia were consistently synchronized first Western and then Central Energy. Started a new page in the history of the Far Eastern energy.

- What are the advantages and who gave the accession of new energy regions of Yakutia?

- In fact, we can no longer talk about the accession of energy districts, but about the accession of the Yakutsk energy system - the expanding OEC of the East provides electricity to more than 80% of the population of the republic.

The most significant and most understandable consumer effect is a cardinal increase in the reliability of power supply. This is most relevant for the Central District of the power system of the Republic of Sakha, where the main consumption is not industrial, but domestic, primarily the city of Yakutsk.

Until recently, accidents at generating equipment in the conditions of the isolated operation of the Central Energy District during the period of maximum loads characteristic of the long and severe Yakut winter often led to a disconnection of consumers. In the 2018 year, eleven blackouts were reported from 12 to 90 thousand people at a time. In the current year, three accidents were recorded with the disconnection of generating equipment at the Yakutskaya State District Power Plant Novaya, which did not lead to the disconnection of consumers - it rescued the power flow from the IES of the East. In the western region of the power system of Yakutia, a similar result was achieved - with the start of parallel operation with the IES of the East, shutting down any hydrogenerator at the Vilyuisk HPP or Svetlinskaya HPP cascade no longer causes consumers to disconnect. So, for the first quarter of 2019, six accidents occurred in the central and western regions, with consumers de-energized, while during the same periods of 2016-2018 there were an average of similar accidents in 20.

The second effect is the possibility for power plants in the connected energy districts to produce more electricity, and therefore earn more. This became possible because the electricity of coal plants of the United Energy System of the East is more expensive than the Yakut electricity. The connection of new power districts with a relatively less expensive generation allows the System Operator to optimize the generation load in the entire Eastern Energy System. Taking into account the procedure for selecting the composition of the included generating equipment, which is one of the main instruments of the wholesale electricity market in the UES of Russia, which has already taken place this year in the OES of East, the influence of the Yakut generation can be quite noticeable.

It is safe to say that the connection of large energy districts of the Yakutsk energy system to the UES of Russia has both technological and economic feasibility for the entire energy system.

- One of the important functions of the System Operator is to calculate the future demand for electricity and power in different parts of the Unified Energy System of Russia, including in the Far East, so that the energy sector can keep up with the growth of the economy. Could you share the plans for the development of the energy system of the Far East?

“If I may, first a few words about the planning system.” It was introduced to the industry ten years ago. Prior to this, for almost two decades there was no integrated development planning system in the UES of Russia. But now, according to a government decree, the development of the electric power industry of the regions is based on special annually adjusted documents of the five-year planning horizon, approved by regional authorities - schemes and programs for the development of power systems, or CPS. From 2015, the investment programs of energy companies can only include projects incorporated in regional M & A. Gradually, the regions have appreciated this tool and are approaching development with the involvement of specialized design organizations. This approach allows for a comprehensive assessment of the adequacy of the transmission capacity of the electrical network and to take into account the forecast mode-balance situation, eliminating the "bottlenecks" in the power system, leading to a decrease in the reliability of electricity supply to consumers.

The system operator in this process provides a forecast of electricity consumption and electric capacity, on the basis of which the need for new generation and power grid facilities in a specific territory is determined, and also coordinates regional control systems to, for example, avoid building excess capacity or generation in the wrong area energy systems, where it will be difficult to ensure the issuance of electricity.

If we talk about tasks and plans, then perhaps the most ambitious thing we have to do in the coming years is to ensure parallel operation of the OES of the East and the first synchronous zone of the UES of Russia. UES of Russia now consists of two zones that do not work with each other synchronously - that is, they are not synchronized in frequency. The first group includes six jointly operating combined energy systems: Siberia, the Urals, the Middle Volga, the South, the Center and the North-West. The second includes only one ECO of the East. The electrical connections between them have existed since the middle of the 1980-s - these are three 220 kV lines along the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur Highways. However, collaboration was not possible for a number of reasons, including the insufficient level of development of automation.

Today, parallel work of the OES of the East and the first synchronous zone of the UES of Russia is already possible. This opportunity was provided by the completion in May of the current year of work on the installation and commissioning of synchronization devices at the 220 kV substations of traction transit owned by Erofei Pavlovich - Mogocha - Kholbon. Due to this, in the near future we will be able to transfer the point of separation between energy associations without paying off consumers. At present, based on the operating conditions, as well as to ensure planned and emergency repairs of the generating equipment and the electric grid complex, the dividing point is transferred dozens of times a year from one substation to another - from Holbon to Yerofey Pavlovich. Such transfers are associated with the need for short-term — from half an hour to two hours — disconnection of consumers fed from intersystem lines, mainly electrified rail transport. Consumers at this time sit without light, the trains stop. In the near future, we will be able to provide uninterrupted power supply to consumers along railways, which, of course, is more in line with the living conditions in the 21st century. In July, we plan to conduct tests, during which we will test the possibility of moving the dividing point without paying off consumers and stopping trains on the Transsib.

The next step should be to connect the OES of the East with the rest of the UES of Russia for permanent synchronous operation. With the current and planned level of electricity consumption in the coming years, this task can be solved with existing networks, without a major new network construction. Well, in the medium term, with the growth of electrical loads associated with the economic development of the territories and the increase in train traffic, the network infrastructure will need to be strengthened - the construction of new transmission lines and substations.

Of course, this is a task already for the next decade, since it requires a comprehensive project study.

- Is this your main goal in the area of ​​development planning for ECO East?

- This is one of the strategic goals, the achievement of which will allow not just turning a page in the chronicle of the Far East, but starting a new chapter. There are, of course, less long-term plans. For example, we provide circuit conditions for the commissioning of a number of power facilities, including the CHPP of PJSC RusHydro in the city of Sovetskaya Gavan, the completion of which is scheduled for the end of this year.

In the following years, according to the plans of RusHydro, it is planned to replace the generating capacities of Artyomovskaya CHPP, Khabarovskaya CHPP-1, which have exhausted their resources, to upgrade part of the generating equipment of the Vladivostok CHPP-2 and to build the second stage of the Yakutskaya HPP Novaya.

In the UES of the East, together with the companies FGC UES and Rosseti, the active implementation of automated remote control of equipment of network facilities continues. And this is an important practical step towards the digital transformation of Far Eastern energy. The use of advanced digital technologies allows to obtain a significant systemic effect due to the construction on their basis of more efficient models of technological process control of power industry facilities and the UES of Russia as a whole.

To improve the reliability of power supply, together with the energy companies, a great deal of work is being done to improve emergency control automation and relay protection. The unified energy system in the east of the country is developing at a high pace, which means that we have a lot of work ahead.


The branch of JSC "SO UES" "United dispatching management of the power system of the East" controls the modes of four power systems of the UES of the East, located on the territory of five constituent entities of the Russian Federation: the Amur region, the Primorsky and Khabarovsk territories, the Jewish Autonomous Region, and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

The operation modes of the East energy systems are controlled by four branches of the regional dispatching departments of AO SO UES: Amurskoye, Primorskoye, Khabarovskoye and Yakutskoye, while the Amursk region's energy zone and the South-Yakutsk region of the electricity system of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), covering Aldansky and the Neryungri districts of Yakutia, the operational zone of the Khabarovsk RDU includes the power system of the Khabarovsk Territory and the Jewish Autonomous Region, and the operational zone of the Yakutsk RDU covers AET Central and Western regions of the Republic of Sakha power system (Yakutia).

For territorial and technological reasons, the energy systems of four constituent entities of the Russian Federation located in the Far Eastern Federal District operate in isolation from the UES of Russia. These are the energy systems of the Kamchatka Territory, the Sakhalin and Magadan regions and the Chukotka Autonomous Region. On the territory of the Khabarovsk Territory, the Nikolaev Energy District is operating in isolation from the East Energy System.

The operational zone of the ODU of the East covers the subjects of the Federation with an area of ​​4457,4 thousand square meters. km, in cities and towns located in this territory, 5,164 million people live.

27 power stations with a capacity of 5 MW and above, electrical substations of the voltage class 110 – 500 kV and power lines 110 – 500 kV with a total length of over 33 thousand km. The total installed generation capacity of ECO East, according to data on 01.06.2019, is 11 230 MW (excluding the Nikolayevsky Power District, which operates in isolation).

According to the reported data, the generation of electricity by the power plants of the OES East for 2018 a year amounted to 37 645 mln kWh, which is higher than 2017 of the year by 2,1%. Electricity consumption in 2018 in the OES of the East exceeded 2,9 of the year by 2017% and amounted to 34 197 mln kWh.

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