The Karelsky branch was formed on May 16, 2005, in the process of reforming of RAO UES of Russia on the basis of production facilities of Karelenergogeneratsiya. Its structural units are engaged in electricity production in the Republic. In addition, Petrozavodskaya cogeneration plant produces and distributes heat energy in Petrozavodsk, the capital of Karelia.
The Birth of the Karelian Energy Industry
June 16, 1931, can be considered the official birthday of the hydropower industry in Karelia: on this day, Karelenergo District Directorate of State Electric Power Plants and Networks of the Karelian Autonomous SSR was created. It was responsible for managing electrification and energy production in the region.
However, two years earlier, on January 29, 1929, the first stage of Kondopozhskaya hydro power plant on rgw Suna River entered into service, producing electricity with capacity of 4,500 kW. The first unit of the second stage was launched in 1938; its capacity was already 22,000 kW. In February 1941, electric energy produced here started being supplied to Petrozavodsk. By the spring of that year, two new generators were installed at Kondopozhskaya hydro power plant, increasing the plant’s output to 27,500 kW.
When Palieozerskaya hydro power plant was launched in December 1954, Suna cascade of hydroelectric stations was formed. The cascade also included 6 smaller hydro power stations: Pitkyakoski, Khyamekoski, Kharlu, Pieni Joki, Suuri Joki, and Ignoyla. They are located in the western part of the Republic of Karelia, near Ladoga, in the territory that passed to the USSR after the war of 1939-1940.
In 1940-ies, construction of two hydro power plants began on the Vyg River in central Karelia. On January 1, 1953, Matkozhnenskaya hydro power plant was commissioned to its full capacity of 60 000 kW. Three years later, Ondskaya hydro power plant entered into service. Thus, 1956 can be considered the year the Vyg cascade of hydroelectric stations was formed. Development of the Vyg River was finished after Vygostrovskaya, Belomorskaya and Palakorgskaya hydro power plants were commissioned, when the Vyg cascade of hydroelectric stations was completely formed.
On June 27, 1967, Putkinskaya hydro power plant was commissioned, which laid the foundation for development and harnessing of the energy resources of the Kem River. Today, Poduzhemskaya, Yushkozerskaya and Krivoporozhskaya hydro power plants successfully operate here. Together they formed Kem HPPs cascade.
Karelian Unified Power Grid
By 1957, three power districts in the Republic of Karelia operated in isolation from each other and had no unified technical and administrative management: South Karelian, Central Karelian, and Priladozhskiy. Karelenergo was charged with creating a unified power grid. Svir-Petrozavodsk high-voltage power line commissioned in 1959 connected south Karelian consumers to Leningrad power grid, and later it also connected consumers near Lake Ladoga.
In 1965, central Karelia was connected to south Karelia by a 220 V high-voltage power line; and in 1988, the western part of the Republic was also connected at a voltage of 110 V. In 1966, connection to the Kola power grid was made at a voltage of 110 kV. The first section of the 330 kV Loukhi-Knyazhnaya transit was launched in 1973.
As the result, a unified power grid with 110 kV voltage and above was formed in Karelia. The Karelian power grid, and via it the Kola power grid, began working within the unified power grid of the North-West.
In 1974, the first stage of Petrozavodskaya CHP plant was put into operation, and the complete plant was commissioned on December 21, 1976. Today, this cogeneration plant supplies heat to 85 % of Petrozavodsk’s housing.
TGC-1 in Karelia Today
Currently, the Karelian branch comprises 16 hydro power plants – three cascades of hydroelectric stations: Vyg, Suna and Kem, and Petrozavodskaya CHP plant. The hydropower potential of the region has been developed in the Suna, Vyg, Kem river basins. TGC-1 JSC’s plants in the Republic of Karelia have a total electric capacity of 833,7 MW and thermal capacity of 733 Gcal/h.