Hydro power generation is a key area of the Power segment’s business. Over 15 GW of the Power segment’s portfolio comes from hydroelectric power plants located on Siberian rivers — the Angara and the Yenisei. The Group operates five HPPs1, including three of the five largest in Russia or twenty largest globally in terms of installed electricity capacity: Krasnoyarsk HPP (6,000 MW), Bratsk HPP (4,500 MW) and Ust-Ilimsk HPP (3,840 MW).
In 2018, the Power segment’s HPPs produced a combined 58.3 TWh of electricity, accounting for 79.6% of the total electricity generated by the Group.
Russia has the second largest potential in the world for economically efficient hydro power generation. This is namely due to Russian rivers, which are recoverable energy sources that in total are able to provide more than 800 billion kWh of low-carbon electricity per annum. Hydro power generation has a number of important advantages compared to other forms of power generation:
Abakan SPP was launched on 21 December 2015 in the Russian region of Khakassia. Abakan was thoughtfully chosen for this solar power plant’s location, as it is one of the sunniest cities in Russia, with an average of 310 sunny days per year. The plant comprises 20 thousand solar modules and is situated on 18 hectares of land. The Group is considering the potential expansion of the power plant.
Abakan Solar Power Plant generated 6.0 GWh in 2018 (flat year-on year).
The Group’s electricity output from CHPs in 2018 increased by 9.6% year-on-year to 14.9 TWh, primarily as a result of lower average temperatures and lower production at the Angara cascade HPPs during the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2017. Heat generation amounted to 27.9 million Gcal (up 4.5% year-on-year).
Through its Irkutskenergosbyt, Volgaenergosbyt, and MAREM+ subsidiaries, the Company purchases electricity on the wholesale market (from both the Group’s generating facilities and third parties) and resells it on the retail market to both industrial consumers lacking access to the wholesale market and residential consumers. The Group also makes heat and electricity sales directly to end-users. In 2007, the Group’s subsidiaries in the Irkutsk and Nizhny Novgorod regions were granted the status of guaranteeing suppliers within these regions. In accordance with this status, the Group is obligated to form an electricity supply contract with any consumer located within these operational areas applying for such a contract.
As at 31 December 2018, the Group operated a transmission and distribution system totalling approximately 41 thousand km of high- and low-voltage lines with an annual output of approximately 47 TWh. Through this system, the Group transmits the electricity generated at the Angara cascade HPPs to wholesale and retail consumers, including RUSAL’s aluminium smelters. Other generation facilities of the Group, such as Krasnoyarsk HPP and Avtozavodskaya CHP, do not use this transmission network, as they are not located within proximity.