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Electric power transmission

Our key objective with regard to the main activity of the Company, electric energy transmission, is to ensure that the transmission process is reliable and uninterrupted and that the services are of high quality and available.

Our activities are characterized by a high degree of social importance: we supply electric power to 7 constituent entities of the Russian Federation with the population of over 6 million people, supplying energy to industrial and social facilities. Power failures and long-term power outages may cause a serious financial damage and result in an accident with environmental consequences.

In order to minimize consumer risks relating to assurance of reliability, availability and quality of power supply the Company issued the Regulation on Technical Policy and Regulation on the Power Quality Management System.

Annual production cycle of IDGC of the North-West

In order to ensure an effective operation of the electric grip complex we have to work proactively all year round: preparation to the winter maximum loads starts already in spring while preparation to summer high temperatures and thunderstorms commences long before the first snow-break.

The production cycle of IDGC of the North-West has two stages:

  • passing through the dangerous period;
  • preparation to the dangerous period.

Autumn-winter period

Passing through the autumn-winter period (AWP) is one of the top-priority tasks during the entire year which requires especially thorough preparation. Annually from April to October the Company performs repairs and service checks of its facilities, the timely performance of which is an important condition of prevention of possible failures in equipment operation in the cold season when power consumption increases and the electric grid load grows.

During the autumn-winter period the entire territory of presence of IDGC of the North-West is characterized by long-lasting unfavorable weather phenomena which pose a threat to uninterrupted work of the electric grid complex:

  • critically low temperatures;
  • strong, abrupt wind;
  • abundant snow with wet snow accretion on wires;
  • glaze ice;
  • icy rain.

The primary causes of accidents at energy facilities in the zone of responsibility of IDGC of the North-West during the autumn-winter period are:

  • OL failure caused by trees falling onto power lines from outside the border of a forest corridor;
  • wire breaks caused by abundant ice and snow accretion.

Preparation to autumn-winter period:

Implementation of repair programs in due time and scope. For more information see section „Repair Activities”.

Commissioning of reconstruction facilities and new construction within the framework of the investment program implementation

For detailed information see section „Investment Activities”.

Obtaining a passport of readiness to operation during AWP

It is the main document evidencing the Company’s ability to operate under the conditions of the winter maximum loads, low temperatures and unfavorable weather phenomena typical for this time of a year. The passport is to be issued no later than on October 15 based on results of annual checks aimed to determine whether the condition of electrical equipment corresponds to necessary requirements and its readiness to ensure uninterrupted power supply to consumers. The assessment of readiness to the autumn-winter period in production departments is carried out by commissions of branches, in branches — by commissions of IDGC of the North-West, in the company — by State Commissions of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation.

Readiness to emergency and repair works

Emergency, rescue and mobile brigades are created and operate in the Company. The brigades are provided with specialized machinery and mobile equipment for performance of emergency and rescue operations.

Conduct of annual emergency trainings and exercises for personnel

Inter-regional trainings and exercises are conducted annually in branches with the participation of structural subdivisions of JSC FGC UPS. Joint trainings are also carried out with the participation of regional authorities of EMERCOM and the housing and utility sector, governmental and self-governing bodies. Skills of interaction in liquidation of emergency situations are perfected during the exercise.

Technical maintenance of electric grids

Grass is cut at outdoor distribution facilities, trees are cut in protected areas of transmission lines, quality control of cable lines is carried out.

Flood season

The months of May and June in the Northwestern region are a flood period. In the area of presence of IDGC of the North-West the territories of the Arkhangelsk, Vologda and Pskov Regions are most exposed to flooding. The highest risk areas are the territories adjoining the four large rivers of the North-West: Pechora (Republic of Komi), Northern Dvina (Arkhangelsk and Vologda Regions), Mezen (Arkhangelsk Region), and Vychegda (Arkhangelsk Region and Republic of Komi).

The main danger in this period is a threat of water-logging of energy facilities and further failures of equipment. In order to ensure a reliable operation of the grids, safety of the population and employees we take a full set of measures to prepare for the flood season taking into account its possible intensity:

  • Visual inspections of substations, bases of overhead lines of all voltage classes, buildings and structures which are under the threat of flooding are performed and a special control is carried out over plots and facilities which have been flooded in previous flood seasons.
  • Emergency and repair brigades provided with required equipment function in the Company.
  • Operating and repair employees receive unscheduled instructions on the procedure of actions at the risk of flood and take part in anti-emergency trainings.
  • Socially important facilities are provided with emergency power for a period of flood and ice gang.
  • Prior to occurrence of flood equipment, mechanisms and materials are evacuated from areas of possible flooding.
  • Measures are taken to prevent contaminations of water reservoirs in the region by industrial waste in case of possible flooding of industrial areas.
  • Interaction with regional hydrometeorological services, EMERCOM subdivisions and local administrations is ensured.

Passing through the season in 2011 and 2012

In 2011 dangerous natural phenomena were observed during the spring flood period in the territories of the Pskov, Novgorod and Arkhangelsk Regions. As a result of the high level of water in rivers flowing close to inhabited areas water-logging of certain facilities (substations) of the Company and adjoining territories was observed.

In 2012 dangerous natural phenomena were observed in April-May in the territory of the Archangelsk Region. As a result of the high level of water in rivers flowing close to inhabited areas water-logging of certain facilities (OL, substations) of the Company and adjoining territories was observed.

Lightning danger/fire season

Geographical peculiarities of the region, presence of forest area and climatic conditions in the spring and summer period create preconditions for fire danger in the entire service area of IDGC of the North-West, especially in hard-to-reach zones.

During a period of thunder and lightning cyclones there is an increased risk of occurrence of different fire outbreaks causing unreliability of power supply and lightning striking an energy facility may cause serious damage to the equipment.

In order to minimize negative effects of natural phenomena we take the following measures to increase safety of facilities of the electric grid complex in the lightning danger/fire season:

  • premises of substations and repair and production bases are cleared from dry grass and combustible garbage prior to the commencement of the fire season;
  • OL sites are cleared from trees and bushes, fire-protective zones are organized in order to prevent fire spread to energy facilities;
  • inspections of a fire safety condition of energy facilities are carried out as preventive measures with a special focus on maintaining open and closed distribution devices, warehouses of oils, fuels and lubricants; checking availability and workability of fire detection and extinguishing means and condition of fire hydrants and water reservoirs for external fire fighting;
  • prior to the commencement of a fire season unscheduled instruction briefings are conducted for operative and repair personnel on observance of fire safety rules in performing works and taking actions in case of fire and fire training at substations together with local subdivisions of fire protection service;
  • interaction is ensured with hydrometeorological services, subdivisions of EMERCOM of Russia, local self-governing bodies, managers of forestry enterprises for operating supervision over a fire situation;
  • special attention is paid to exclusion zones of overhead lines. Occasional inspections are carried out in fire hazard areas of electricity transmission lines in accordance with an approved plan;
  • inspections of the condition of anti-lightning devices on buildings and structures are performed. Monitoring of the condition of lightning rods, valve-type lightning arresters, voltage suppressors and grounding devices is performed at substations and distribution points;
  • by the commencement of lightning and thundering season readiness of clamping units and devices detecting fault points on electricity transmission lines is ensured. Unscheduled instruction briefings on actions in case of thunderstorms and organizing power line patrols are carried out for operative personnel;
  • annually during the thunderstorm season all power equipment failures and damages are registered for assessment of completeness of preparations performed and further elaboration of measures for the next thunderstorm season.

Прохождение сезона в 2011 и 2012 гг.

From May to September 2012 in the territories of the Vologda, Pskov and Novgorod Region and the Republic of Karelia thunderstorm fronts with wind gusting to 22 m per sec and stronger were observed, which resulted in complex technological violations.

Violations were eliminated by field service, emergency-restoration and mobile brigades of the Company and by engaged third-party entities (contracted organizations) and equipment within due time.

Deterioration of equipment of the electric grid complex

The high degree of depreciation of fixed assets results in substantial energy loss in the grids and creates conditions for energy safety level reduction due to the possibility of occurrence of technical violations and emergency situations at the facilities. The depreciation directly affects power supply service quality which afflicts consumers in the first place.

Substantial deterioration of equipment of the electric grid complex poses a serious threat to assurance of reliable and high-quality power transmission in serviced areas.

The level of physical depreciation of fixed assets varies from 63% to 68% and hardly even decreases. Implementation of the long-term investment program is aimed to reduce depreciation of fixed assets down to 60.1% by the end of 2018.

The level of physical depreciation of fixed assets varies from 63% to 68% and hardly even decreases. Implementation of the long-term investment program is aimed to reduce depreciation of fixed assets down to 60.1% by the end of 2018.

The major part of electric grid facilities was built in 1960-70s in accordance with project solutions which do not meet modern requirements. A major part of facilities had been placed into operation during a relatively short period of time which resulted in the relevant large-scale ageing of the equipment park in the 1990s and constant growth of physical depreciation of fixed assets. The slow technical re-equipment and reconstruction of the grid complex did not allow stopping the growth of physical depreciation and resulted in the forced expenditure on repair of both physically and morally obsolete equipment.

Due to the problem of depreciation of electric grids one of our top-priority tasks is to modernize equipment of the electric grid complex. Taking into account the scale of depreciation of the lack of investments the problem is impossible to be solved within a short term. Thus, in the nearest future it is planned to put an emphasis on replacement of equipment in the most critical condition and equipment the failure of which will have the most severe consequences.

Compared to the target values of 2011, in 2012 the length of repaired OL 0.4-220 kV increased by 942 km (12%) and the area of cleared OL 6-220 kV increased by 1,277 Ha (10%).

Repair activities

Repair activities of IDGC of the North-West are aimed at maintaining a workable condition of equipment in order to ensure reliability of energy supply to consumers and at observing requirements of reliability of functioning of the electric grid complex during repair campaigns.

Under the conditions of the increasing depreciation of fixed assets and the lack of tendency to its reduction, the volume of repair works should be increased continuously in order to maintain parameters of equipment condition.

Repair programs

Implementation of an annual repair program of IDGC of the North-West includes carrying out a comprehensive set of measures to maintain a workable condition and to restore equipment of the electric grid complex, repair of buildings and structures and meeting of the equipment performance standards.

In the reporting period the repair program of IDGC of the North-West was fulfilled both in terms of physical and monetary values.

Among works performed in excess of the plan the most important are repair of equipment of SS 220-35 kV, including capital repair of power transformers (7 units).

Actual costs amounted to RUB1,608.9 million, or 103 % of the target, in 2011 and to RUB1,600.8 million, or 102 % of the target, in 2012. It is planned to increase the repair program in physical and monetary terms in 2013, allocating RUB1,720.4 million for its implementation.

Fulfillment of physical indicators of the repair program in 2011-2012

Repair of substations 35-220 kV, units

Capital repair of 6-10 kV OL, km

Clearing of 6-10 kV OL sites, Ha

Clearing of 35-220 kV OL, Ha

Allocation of repair expenses by major equipment groups, RUB million

Clearing and expansion of OL sites

In order to avoid falling of trees on power transmission lines the Company inspects OL sites and cut trees threatening to fall on the lines. Over 60 thousand trees are cut annually in the course of scheduled and additional inspections.

The Company developed a Program of Normalization of Overhead Line Sites providing implementation of the planned measures in 2013-2017. Within the framework of implementation of the 2013 repair program it is planned to perform works for expansion of 6-220 kV OL sites in the volume of 370.5 Ha.