The Chirkei hydro power plant is situated on the Sulak river and is the largest HPP in the North Caucasus and the highest arch dam in Russia.
Those who get there can have a good excursion program about the plant. Also it’s a nice place to photograph.
The Sulak river basin is located in Dagestan. The water from the river is supplied to Makhachkala and Kaspiysk.
The Chirkei HPP is a part of the Sulak hydroelectric system and is its first step. Other steps are:
Miatlinskaya HPP and the complex of Сhiryurtskiye hydro power plants.
Surface area of the reservoir – 42.4 km ², and the volume reaches 2.78 km ³.
The HPP construction began in 1964 and lasted for fourteen years.
The gantry crane at the crest of the dam is used for opening / closing the valves that regulate the water flow to the main hydro generators.
This is a view from the gantry crane. The dam is only six meters (about twenty ft) wide on the top. The construction seems to be so fragile from there!
This is a photo from the Google maps.
The water flows at a very high speed to the spiral chambers of hydraulic units.
This is the spiral chamber inside.
Water comes to the blades of the turbine. The energy of the water flow becomes the mechanical one and goes to the hydraulic unit which generates electricity.
This hydraulic unit is being repaired.
The turbine hall is separated into two parts, each has two aggregates.
Two bridge cranes in the halls have lifting capacity up to 320 tons.
This is the control room.
These are transformers and switchgears.
Hydropower capacity is 1000 MW, average annual output is 2,470,000,000 kWh.
The energy of the river Sulak goes through the generator voltage switchgear to the United Energy System of the South of Russia.
Not far from the dam is the inlet of the service spillway of the tunnel type. It is 730 m long (half a mile).
This is one of the mines inside the dam.
This is the technical corridor.
The hydro power plant is even more beautiful at night.