The Zhigulevskaya Hydroelectric Power Plant (also known as the Volga HPP) located on the Volga river is the second most powerful HPP of the Volga-Kama Cascade. Let’s see ourselves if it’s really that good as it’s usually described.
The construction of the Zhigulevskaya HPP began in 1950 and ended in 1957. The territory of the plant is huge. 7-8 hours aren’t enough to look everything around. The main building (pictured) is 700 m long.
The red line in the picture marks the roof of the main building and the road on the side of the headrace.
From the roof of the building one can see very well all sorts of colorful strips of metal with an electric current flowing through them.
This crane serves for lifting and lowering repair closures. This is necessary in order to be able to block the water when the turbine is being repaired.
The view in the direction of the headrace. In the distance one can see a museum (which is very interesting, by the way), a gantry crane (which lifts and lowers the lattices designed for water filtration) and a distribution system (which delivers electricity to consumers).
The Zhigulevskaya HPP regulates the water flow in the Volga and creates favorable conditions for the irrigation of the large areas of arid lands. The electricity generated by the plant is carried by four high-voltage lines (500 kV each).
Once again, the gantry crane. The lattices which it lifts/lowers collect a whole heap of garbage! After the flood of the water area of the Kuibyshev reservoir, there were so much ragbage and logs in the water, that it was possible to move to the opposite bank on them.
At the very top. 500 kV voltage cables are peacefully swinging above your head. But don’t worry, fire safety at this plant follows the highest standards.
The view of the tailrace. Though the turbulence of water is clearly seen, many reckless heads have drowned here… All of them were fishermen who illegally came here in order to easily catch slightly stunned after the turbine fish.
The railroad “Moscow-Samara” runs along the hydroelectric power plant.
And this is a part of the previously mentioned garbage. Such quantity won’t make any difficulties to the turbine. Its rotation speed is 60 revolutions per minute.
The view in the direction of the museum and the right bank of the Volga.
And this is the Zhigulevsky retransmitter. It provides the Stavropol region with radio and television broadcasting.
Having gone down from the main building, you can find yourself on the railroad.
Fish swim among the garbage.
The lattices collect a lot of shells and other river creatures.
Hard to believe but the lifting capacity of the crane is more than 100 tons and it moves at a speed of 40 m/min.
In 2004, the Zhigulevskaya HPP won the annual contest “Company of the year: best enterprise of the Samara region”. Its workers have a very good social package, inside of buildings is clean and tidy. In general, the plant provides a very good impression.
The hall where the repair closures are located.
The door leading to the engine hall.
That’s where the real beauty is! The plant is deservedly considered one of the best! Those lamps hanging on the walls are more than 60 years old!
You won’t believe but this inconspicuous knob gives the command to turn off the hydroelectric generator. And it takes it only 2 minutes to do this! There once was the case with an investigation when someone accidentally turned the knob… Can you imagine what 120 MW means!? A hair dryer, for instance, needs 100.000 times less energy.
The hydroelectric generator in section. It is clearly seen that the water flows in from the left, passes the blades of a wicket gate, rotates the turbine and flows out to the right.
This scheme shows it more visually.
The room located a little bit lower than the engine hall.
As the corridors here are long (the length of the building is 700 meters), a bike is a very popular means of transportation.
You see? We’re not lying about the corridors… As for the doors, they are reliable indeed.
Location: the Zhugulevskaya HPP