Russia utility: 160-MW Zelenchukskaya pumped-storage complete by 2013

CHERKESSK, Russia 10/26/11 (PennWell) — An official of Russian hydropower utility RusHydro announced the 160-MW Zelenchukskaya pumped-storage project will achieve its design capacity in 2013.

Director Grigor Saratikyan of RusHydro’s branch in Russia’s Karachay-Cherkessia Republic, outlined plans for the pumped-storage project during RusHydro’s seventh School of Hydropower for journalists. The school was conducted in October at the site of the conventional 160-MW Zelenchukskaya (or Zelenchuk) hydro project on the Kuban River in extreme southwestern Russia.

RusHydro and Alstom Hydro agreed in 2010 to cooperate in development of Russian hydro assets, including modernization of the Kubanski cascade hydropower complex and the new Zelenchukskaya pumped-storage plant.

Saratikyan said the 7.3 billion ruble (US$239.2 million) pumped-storage project involves installation of two reversible hydraulic units in the existing powerhouse of theZelenchukskaya hydro plant. The project’s lower reservoir will be located on the right bank of the Kuban River.

Improvement of the original Zelenchukskaya project has been a priority of RusHydro. The project features two 80-MW turbines, one installed in 1999 and the other in 2002. A third phase of the project was completed in 2006, involving construction of 30 kilometers of tunnels and channels to supply more water to the project from mountain rivers, increasing generation without additional equipment.

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