Comprehensive Modernization Program

As many large HPPs were commissioned in the 1950s and 1960s, the need arose in the early 2000s to upgrade or replace the existing equipment. Tough economic conditions prevented RusHydro from replacing obsolete and worn-out equipment and forced it to focus on maintenance and partial replacements instead.

Since mid-2000s, a number of RusHydro’s HPPs began replacing equipment on a case-by-case basis, but the overall trend of ageing prevailed.

This was true until December 2011, when the Board of Directors approved the Comprehensive Modernization Program to upgrade the Company’s power generation facilities by 2025. Its key priority is to ensure that no core generation equipment with expired safe operation life remains in place by then.

Key results of RusHydro’s Comprehensive Modernization Program
Results, pcs
Type of equipment 2018 2019 E
Turbines 7 10
Generators 8 10
Transformers 6 3
High-voltage circuit breakers 76 12
Hydraulic structures 25 22
Secondary switches 342 191
Secondary equipment 360 178
Additions to installed capacity, MW
HPP 2018 2019 E
Zhigulevskaya HPP 10.5 10.5
Saratovskaya HPP 12.0 12.0
Novosibirskaya HPP 5.0 5.0
Votkinskaya HPP 15.0 15.0
Cascade of Verkhnevolzhskiye HPPs 10.0 0.0
Nizhegorodskaya HPP 3.0 0.0
Total 55.5 42.5
Technical condition index of the equipment %
Equipment %
Turbines 78.41
Generators 76.15
Transformers 67.50

In 2018, Votkinskaya HPP’s hydropower unit No. 7 was upgraded as part of RusHydro’s Comprehensive Modernization Program, becoming the second fully modernized hydropower unit at the plant.

Over the five decades since its commissioning in 1962, this unit had worn down to a significant extent. It took about a year to replace its turbine, generator and secondary equipment and upgrade its automatic control system. The new hydropower unit was manufactured by Power Machines – a Russian company.

The second unit’s runner, turbine chamber and automatic control and excitation system were replaced entirely. Designed to prevent lubes from being released to the environment, the new runner is expected to contribute more to ecological sustainability. The upgraded automatic control system will update the operators on the equipment status while also enhancing the operating efficiency and mitigating the risk of malfunctions.

In 2018, Volzhskaya HPP commissioned a new hydropower unit and replaced a turbine, generator and auxiliary equipment as part of the Comprehensive Modernization Program.

At Novosibirskaya HPP, the turbine replacement was followed by commissioning of the hydropower unit No. 7. The upgrade will boost Novosibirskaya HPP’s installed capacity by 5 MW.

Cheboksarskaya HPP put into operation hydropower unit No. 14 following its upgrade, which included the recovery of the adjustable blade pitch and the replacement of the generator stator.