Kamchatka is the land of the living volcanoes. But people have learned how to get benefit from volcanoes. Only 50 people work at the Mutnovsko Geothermal energy plant, which supplies a third of central Kamchatka with energy.
The first, an experimental Pauzhetskaya Geothermal energy plant, was built in Kamchatka half a century ago, and the most powerful, the industrial Mutnovskaya 50 MWt Geothermal Power Plant, was launched in 2002. This is one of the most modern geothermal plants in the world. Steam is created by using 14 wells with depths ranging from 900 to 2250 meters.
The station is located at 800 m above sea level, and 130 km from the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. All around there a beautiful mountains, over which the cold winds from the Arctic and warm winds from the Pacific meet. As a result – the climatic conditions are difficult. A blizzard with zero visibility at night can cover a bulldozer with snow. In the morning, it would be necessary to search for it and dig it up. During the winter up to 8 meters of snow will fall, and the slow can stay until August..
Another problem is icing. All station services are involved with the de-icing process, on rotation, where they water the towers with warm water.
By mid-January, wells are covered with snow so hard and deep, that a worker can only enter them through hatches in the roof. They are about 4-5 meters high. To get into the other wells they have to wade waist-deep in snow and dig out the front door in 2-3-meter banks of snow.
Every five days workers should visit all wells, and check the temperature and pressure of the produced fluid.
The Mutnovskaya collective lives like a big family. Many workers have been here already for 7-10 years, almost since the opening. At the station there is everything for comfortable living and leisure – a playground, billiards, tennis, a gym and a recreation room.
There is also a small pool with running water from a thermal spring where they can bathe in summer and winter. Such thing are rare in a luxury resort, but here – it is the order of things.