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Russian power plants soon to utilize tidal energy
24.06.2005 00:00

Two unique power plants using tidal energy will soon be built in Russia. In general Russia possesses tidal energy resources, which one can compare with total amount of energy produced and consumed in the country nowadays. Kola Bay and Okhotskoye Sea coast are able to give about 100 GW by means of tidal power stations (TiPS). 2 MW is enough to bring light and to warm an average village situated beyond the arctic circle.
      First Russian TiPS was launched in 1968 in the Ura-gube village on the Barents Sea coast. It was a reinforced concrete construction, which was built in docks near Murmansk and then towed off to Kislaya Guba (Gulf), 100 km away from the city. This construction technique was named Russian and it is now used to build sea platforms for oil extraction. The TiPS was awarded a gold medal during World Expo in Japan. In the middle of last centurys nineties Kislogubskaya TiPS was abandoned due to financial difficulties, and only ten years later it was modernized and started to be exploited.
      The renewed station is equipped with a unique orthogonal turbine, not used in waterpower engineering anywhere else in the world. Turbine rotor rotates only in one direction despite of power path current, which allows about 30% lowering expenses on power station operation. Such devices are used in wind power generation for a long time, but its the first time the turbine is suited for water environment.
      The pilot TiPS in Kislaya Guba, where tidal rise reaches 5 m, has a capacity of 400 kW. New TiPSes for industrial use are expected to be built on Okhotskoye and Beloe Seas. Mezenskaya TiPS on the Beloe Sea will host first Russian semi-industrial energy 10 MW unit, and TiPS, completely put into operation, can produce up to 20000 MW. In Penzhinskaya Guba (Gulf) in Okhotskoye Sea the tidal rises reach up to 17 m, so TiPS can produce 20-90 thousand MW.
      Russian power engineers contribute to global ecological problems solution. Kaliningrad Region is going to be the ground for the first Russian wind farm, for example, Kamchatka is the centre for geothermal power engineering and Yaroslavl Region builds a pilot ground for minor water-power engineering.


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