The 320MW Nizhne-Bureyskaya hydropower in the Amur region of the Far Eastern Federal District is now online, Russian power generator RusHydro has announced.

The project had its official opening ceremony in early September, in an event attended by Nikolay Shulginov, Chairman of the Management Board – General Director of RusHydro and Vasily Orlov, Governor of the Amur region.

Nizhne-Bureyskaya is the second stage of Bureyskiy hydropower complex, the largest generating facility in the Far Eastern Federal District. Nizhne-Bureyskaya is a counter-regulator to the 2010MW Bureyskaya plant, one of Russia’s largest hydroelectric plants. The Nizhne-Bureyskaya dam mitigates intra-day volatility of Bureyskaya flushes, enabling it to operate without limitations.

Annual average electricity output of Nizhne-Bureysksya is 1.67TWh. The facility will supply power to customers in unified energy system of the East, including Vostochny Cosmodrome as well as major infrastructure projects such as Gazprom’s Power of Siberia gas pipeline and gas-processing plant in the Amur region.

The majority of power plant’s equipment was sourced domestically, including four 80MW hydropower turbines manufactured by OJSC Power Machines.

A number of cutting-edge technological solutions were employed during the course of construction such as 3D engineering and slurry wall method allowing minimizing the dam construction time and ensuring its reliability.

Construction of the hydropower plant started in August 2010. In 2017, Vladimir Putin attended the inauguration ceremony of the first three hydro-units.

According to Vasily Orlov, the governor of the Amur region, construction of the hydropower plant has been one of the largest investment projects in the region. Up to 2000 people were employed at the peak of facility’s construction and over RUB 400 million in taxes was paid during its course. Upon commissioning, annual tax contributions will amount up to RUB 1.4 billion.

The hydropower plant’s design project complies with the highest environment standards and represents professional engagement between environmental and power experts, said RusHydro. In 2014, an agreement to conserve biodiversity was signed between the Amur region, Nizhne-Bureyskaya H, United Nations Environment Programme and Ministry of the Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.

A national park  – Bureyskiy – was formed within the vicinities of the hydropower plant where feeding stations were enacted to lure ungulates out of the flooding zone, as well as artificial nests for mandarina duck. For the first time in Russia, a rescue operation took place during flooding to save animals and transfer rare species of plants.

RusHydro is currently implementing a 1275kW photovoltaic project by installing solar panels on the surface of the dam.