In the early 1930s, Soviet scientists noticed the lucrative hydropower resources of the Kola Peninsula, which naturally found their way into Lenin’s well-known GOELRO plan.
Electrification of the Polar Region
The first major energy construction project, which, as its authors anticipated, should have stimulated the development of the Kola Peninsula’s mineral raw materials, was Niva hydro power plant No.2 (named after the Niva River). The first team of hydraulic engineers came here in summer 1930. Four years later, the first hydroelectric generating unit was commissioned. June 30, 1934, entered the history of the Kola Peninsula forever as the day, when electrification of the Polar Region began.
Two more power plants were built here in the next 20 years. One of them is a unique power plant: Niva hydro power plant 3 was the first underground power plant in the Soviet Union. Its generator hall was at depth of 75 m.
The second power plant built in 1937 under the GOELRO plan was Nizhne-Tulomskaya hydro power plant. In 1940, these two hydro power plants were connected by a 110 kV power line.
The post-war period was marked not only by booming industrial development, but also by harnessing of the hydro power resources of the North. Between the 1950s and the end of 1960s, five hydro power plants of Paz cascade were built. Between the 1970s and the mid-1980s, four power plants of Serebryanskiy HPPs cascade were commissioned.
TGC-1 in Murmansk Oblast Today
In November 2014, upgrade of Iovskaya HPP of the Niva HPPs Cascade was completed. Instead of propeller turbines, more efficient movable blade turbines were installed. The upgrade additionally increased energy conversion efficiency and reliability of the hydroelectric generating units, as well as expanded their working range which allows to regulate their carrying capacity in accordance with the power system needs of the region in a smoother and more timely manner.