Baikal Irkutsk Trans Siberian

Irkutsk Hydropower Electric Station 


The large volume and constancy of flow provided by Lake Baikal imparts tremendous hydro electrical potential to its only outflow the Angara river. The river has a drop of 378 m. (1,243 ft). The catchment basin for Baikal covers an area of 55,700 sq km (21,505 sq mi).

The construction of the Irkutsk Hydroelectric Power Station located within the city limits began in 1954. The river was dammed in 1956. The plant itself was brought to full capacity in 1959. The dam and power plant combined are 2 600 meters (1.6 miles) long. The depth of the river at the dam side is 33 meters (109 ft). The dam is constructed of materials brought from the immediate vicinity. The annual output of the station is 4.1 billion kilowatts. Eight generating units are installed at the machine hall of the power house. The water reservoir or the man-made water reservoir of Irkutsk hydropower plant is over 60 km (38 mi) long and 3 km (2 mi) wide. It is fed up by 31 river. Due to the power plant the Angara is free of ice throughout the whole distance it runs through the city.

The water level in water reservoir near Irkutsk rose by 30 meters (100 ft), while the water level of Lake Baikal rose by 1.4 meters (5 ft) after completion of the dam. This resulted in some changes in the area. Several small villages and settlements were removed since they had been located in the reservoir basin. Before the dam a route from Irkutsk to Lake Baikal lay along the bank of the river. In the late XIXth century a railway was laid along the opposite left bank of the Angara at the foot of the mountain range. After the dam construction this railway track was flooded, and a new line of the Trans-Siberian Railway was put across the mountain range.

The main consumers of electricity in this part of Siberia are metallurgical and chemical plants. The region is one of the largest consumers of electricity and thermal energy of Siberia. Irkutsk region is export-oriented and the secret of the profitability of the Irkutsk export market lies in the amazingly inexpensive cost of energy which comes from the hydroelectric power stations in Irkutsk, Bratsk and Ust-Ilimsk, the three most powerful ones in the country.
Irkutsk Hydropower Electric StationIrkutsk Hydropower Electric StationIrkutsk Hydropower Electric Station

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