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Nizhne-Bureyskaya HPP will be supplied by the sun

Russian President Vladimir Putin opened a unique energy hybrid in the Amur Region

3 August Vladimir Putin in a solemn atmosphere launched three of the four hydroelectric units of the Nizhne-Bureyskaya HPP in the Amur region. This is the most powerful hydroelectric power station in the country, the construction of which began after the collapse of the USSR. And, obviously, it's over. In addition to 320 MW produced on water, HPP will in the future produce up to 2,5 MW of solar generation - and will thus become the first hybrid hydro-solar station in the country.

Nizhne-Bureyskaya HPP will be supplied by the sun
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The construction of the Nizhne-Bureyskaya HPP on the Bureya River, the left tributary of the Amur River, in 84,6 km from the mouth, is one of the priority projects of the investment program of PJSC RusHydro. In 2010 year Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, Who at that time held the post of Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, attended the launch of this construction site and even threw his watch into the first cube of concrete. So today he, already as the president of Russia, closed this his gestalt. "It is already possible for new consumers, household, I mean, to transfer from coal to electricity with a reduced tariff?",  For some reason asked Putin. He was told that in the future the hydro power plant could significantly improve the economy of the operation of thermal stations in the Far East.

“This is the first hydroelectric station of such a level, of such a scale, which was built in modern Russia, the first such a huge, powerful, I would say, beautiful in terms of technical design and very modern facility. Modern, because it takes into account - you know it better than anyone else - all the problems that hydropower industry faced in previous years, including the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric station. All this has been analyzed, all this has been invested in the project and implemented so that the station works efficiently, rhythmically and not only creates no problems, but, on the contrary, creates opportunities for the development of the Far East regions, ”said the President of the Russian Federation.

The design capacity of the new station is 320 MW (with the operation of all four hydroelectric units), the average annual output is 1,65 billion kWh. This is not much, especially against the background of larger stations; but Nizhne-Bureiskaya is needed to supply the southern part of the Far East (including the Vostochny cosmodrome and the Power of Siberia gas pipeline). In addition to generating electricity, an important function will be  Leveling of uneven discharges from the Bureyskaya HPP during the day, Which - in theory - will reduce the damage from floods in the floodplains of Bureya and Amur. "The waterworks will have anti-flood value, allowing to smooth the peaks of discharges from the Bureyskoye reservoir. After the strongest flood of 2013, the project of the station was revised - the reserve capacity of the reservoir was increased. Nizhne-Bureyskoe "sea" will play an important role in preventing winter flooding of settlements, which will allow us to use the regulatory capabilities of a powerful upper hydro power plant without restrictions, "-  Explained today "Amurskaya Pravda".

The construction of the foundation pit lintels in the Bureya riverbed began in 2011. In 2012, the general construction contractor was determined - the Russian engineering company Trest Gidromontazh JSC. In 2013, the builders drained the excavation and started laying concrete. In 2014, the maximum volumes of concrete were laid, in 2015, full-scale work was launched on the installation of hydraulic units. The first hydroelectric unit gave current as part of the tests on April 18. And the hydroelectric unit No. 3 was put on tests at idle speed of the turbine (without being connected to the network) on July 23rd. Many advanced technological solutions have been implemented in the station design. In particular, for the first time in Russia, a “wall in the ground” was used as the main anti-seepage element of the dam. Unlike the Soviet long-term construction projects that were put into operation in new Russia (Bureyskaya and Boguchanskaya stations), Nizhne-Bureyskaya is a counter-regulating station. It will operate in a single cascade with the more powerful Bureyskaya HPP, located upstream of the Bureya (170 km from the mouth) and one of the ten most powerful hydroelectric power plants in the country. Until now, only two stations with such a function have operated in Russia - Mainskaya in Khakassia (counter-regulator of the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP) and Miatlinskaya in Dagestan (regulating the operation of the Chirkeiskaya HPP).

Bureya was closed in April 2016-th, and in March this year  The filling began reservoirs to an intermediate mark in 128 meters. In July, RusHydro reported that the filling continues to the normal retaining level - 138 meters, provided by the project. “The readiness of the reservoir bed for filling is confirmed by an interdepartmental commission act created by order of the Ministry of Construction and Housing of the Russian Federation: sanitation cleaning, logging, security and rescue archaeological works were completed in a prescribed volume, several VL-220 kV and VL-500 kV towers were removed. In accordance with the established procedure, the Interim Rules for the Use of Water Resources on the Bureya River were agreed and approved, ”the press release noted.

During the preparation of the box in the Amur Region, a unique program for Russia The Bureysky Compromise - the fruit of cooperation between power engineers, the regional government, the UNDP / GEF-Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and environmentalists. The program started back in 2014 and was based on a set of measures aimed at minimizing the negative impact of the construction of hydroelectric power plants on the environment and biological diversity. Hydroconstruction always turns into the transformation of the ecosystem - not destruction, but replacement; nevertheless, such interference with nature is fraught. Neither in the years of the USSR, nor later did they give much thought to such an influence, which is why, in many respects, the hydropower industry lost - at least in the eyes of ecologists - its image as renewable. Within the framework of the Bureya Compromise, an attempt was made, which is not usual for Russia, to harmonize completely opposite goals - the construction of a large infrastructure facility and the preservation of nature.

For this purpose, environmental measures were carried out not only in the zone of influence of the hydropower station itself (this, in one way or another, was engaged earlier), but also beyond its limits. A register of vulnerable plant and animal species was compiled, and for each - just like that! - specific practical steps have been worked out, capable of minimizing negative impacts. In the area of ​​the future reservoir, the first natural park "Bureysky" with an area of ​​132 thousand hectares was created in the Amur region. Several rare species of plants handled there for several years - first of all, endemics (Alevritopteris Kuna ferns, multi-stranded vultures, multi-rooting rooting, and higher plants, sphenopharyngeal spleen and Japanese travetvettery). In total, more than 400 specimens were transplanted - observations showed that they all successfully completed a one-year cycle and took root in a new location. Difficulties arose only with the fern, which at first did not want to take root in a new place. The way out was found - with the help of the builders of the dam and diamond cutting, a part of the rock was carved together with the endemic itself on it, and already in this form the plants were transported to new places.

In order to distract the animals from the flooding zone, a year and a half ago they began to accustom them to new feeding places: in the park, at a certain distance from the edge of the reservoir, they put special feeding complexes. The video records obtained from these points indicate an increased concentration of animals around the feeding sites.

To preserve a rare species of birds - mandarin ducks, which in our country there are no more than 15 thousand, - for the first time in Russia Amur ornithologists resorted to the technology of placing man-made duplexes in natural conditions (all along the coast of the reservoir they hung about 100 such "houses"). Such a measure should compensate for the loss of bird habitats, which is unavoidable when the reservoir is filled. Environmentalists have developed five varieties of duplexes, chosen the most similar to the natural duck nests. We hung 50 such houses and began to wait for the result. "It was an experiment: will it be possible to populate a wild creature in an artificial nest,  I told "Bulletin of RusHydro" Arthur Alibekov, The organizer of the program "Bureysky compromise". - And the feathers of tangerines in the shelves were discovered in the first year. "

In the lower tail of the Nizhne-Bureyskaya HPP, five artificial supports were established for the Far Eastern stork, another specially protected species of birds. The stork builds huge nests up to two meters in diameter, the mass of which reaches 300-500 kg. In the south of the Amur Region, strictly speaking, there are not so many trees that can hold such gravities (this, by the way, limits the possibilities for population growth).

Finally, in two stages: with filling the reservoir to an intermediate mark of 128 meters - in April, and with the beginning of the filling up to the mark of 138 meters in July - was carried out Operation "Mazai", Which in spring was widely reported by the federal media. In the patrolling of flooded areas in 15,4 thousand hectares around the Bureya river, hunters, volunteers and energy specialists themselves participated. Hence the name of the operation. "But unlike Grandfather Mazai, we know in advance which territory will be isolated by water, and immediately begin patrolling it even before the land is submerged," -  Then explained to journalists Artur Alibekov.

Mostly small animals - hares, raccoon dogs, etc. were taken from the islands. But once they rescued the wild boar - for a start it was immobilized with a stab. "A roe deer, other large animals just scared - included sirens on boats, detonated firecrackers. Using noise effects, they were forced to move away from the flooding zone, "the hunting director of the regional Directorate for the Protection and Use of Wildlife and Specially Protected Natural Areas told Interfax in April Sergey Bashnyak. To search for animals caught in water, a quadrocopter was used, which was provided by the Amur branch of the Socio-Ecological Union.

In general, the entire program "Bureysky Compromise" has become a new word in the practice of hydraulic engineering in Russia. "It can be stated that before the filling of the reservoir of the Nizhne-Bureyskaya HPP, unprecedented measures were taken to preserve the biodiversity of the Bureya River valley. Such a comprehensive environmental program for the construction of a large energy facility in Russia is unique and is applied for the first time on a similar scale. The company intends to continue cooperation with environmentalists in the future, "-  Was noted in the message "RusHydro".

Nizhne-Bureyskaya HPP will also become the first country hybrid hydro-solar station. This project is also managed by Arthur Alibekov, and today the first step to this unique for Russia initiative was also demonstrated to Vladimir Putin. As Alibekov himself told "Kislorod. LIFE", at the moment a pilot site of a hybrid hydro-solar generation with a total installed capacity of 25 kW (24850 W) is organized at the hydroelectric power station. The presented installation uses four types of solar modules, various technologies and materials, including one - produced by the domestic Ryazan plant of metal-ceramic devices. In the near future, the second stage of the experimental site is planned to be commissioned at the lower slope of the dam of the hydroelectric power station and its installed capacity should be brought to 62 kW.

A pilot site is a stage necessary to determine performance indicators and formulate specific requirements for solar modules. After that, it will become clear which of them can be used at hydraulic structures in Russia. Taking into account the climatic features of the Amur Region, it is planned to test eight different types of solar modules at the pilot site, half of which are Russian-made. The region as a whole is located in a favorable zone for the development of solar energy and is characterized by a high level of solar insolation (about 240 sunny days a year).

Recall, in the article for "Kislorod.LIF" Arthur Alibekov previously explained that the development of renewable energy can be extremely effective at the actual generation facilities, including hydroelectric plants. First of all, thanks to access to the energy and transport infrastructure, the availability of free areas and qualified personnel. The concept of industrial hybrid generation allows using the advantages of each type of generation and leveling their shortcomings, reducing the capital costs for creating SES by about a third as compared to placing in an "open field" and saving 15-20% on operational costs of operation.

The energy of the sun will be able to provide both the internal needs of the hydroelectric power station and supplies to the power grid. In general, at the Nizhne-Bureiskaya HPP it is possible to install panels with a total capacity of up to 2,5 MW. And in the case of the involvement of additional areas of the on-site sites and the reservoir territory (the so-called floating power stations), this capacity may increase significantly, depending on the needs.

In the world, such projects are no longer exotic. On the lower slope of the Kotani Dam in Japan, more than 5 MW of solar generation was installed, and at the Gongen Dam - 1,76 MW. And the world's largest hybrid power plant with a capacity of 850 MW is located in China, its work is harmonized with the work of a nearby HPP with an installed capacity of 1280 MW. Projects of floating SES are implemented in India, Brazil, Portugal, China and several other countries. Thus, hydropower becomes the driver of the development of other renewable energy sources. For Russia, the experience of the Nizhne-Bureiskaya HPP, in the case of successful results of the experimental site, can be truly invaluable.
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