Volkhov Hydroelectric Power Plant

Volkhov Hydroelectric Power Plant


(full name, V. I. Lenin Volkhov Hydroelectric Power Plant), located on the Volkhov River. The first regional hydroelectric power plant in the USSR built according to the plan of GOELRO (State Commission for the Electrification of Russia). Construction started on the initiative of V. I. Lenin in 1918, but the Civil War and foreign intervention delayed further work until 1921.

Lenin devoted special attention to construction of the plant. In his article “Better Less, but Better” (1923), he wrote: “Use every saving we make to develop our large-scale machine industry, to develop electrification, … to complete the Volkhov Hydroelectric Power Plant” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 45, p. 405). The station was formally opened in December 1926. The original capacity of the power plant was 58 megawatts (58,000 kilowatts). Early in the Great Patriotic War the station was dismantled and the equipment removed. Partially restored in 1942, it supplied electricity to besieged Leningrad by cable laid on the bottom of Lake Ladoga. It was fully restored in October 1944. The plant capacity was increased to 66 megawatts. Average annual power output is 375 million kilowatt-hours.

The entire hydroelectric project consists of a concrete overflow dam 213.3 m long, a power plant building 140.5 m long, a spillway, a single-lift lock, and a fish ladder. The generator hall of the power plant contains eight generators of 8-megawatt capacity each and two smaller units of 1-megawatt capacity each. The dam complex forms the Volkhov Reservoir.

Construction of the Volkhov Hydroelectric Power Plant was the first school for Soviet power project workers, and its builders subsequently worked on the Dnieper Hydroelectric Power Plant and a number of other major hydroelectric projects.