Dnieper Hydroelectric Station
Overview
 
The Dnieper Hydroelectric Station ( - DniproHES, - DneproGES, also known as Dneprostroi Dam) is the largest hydroelectric power station on the Dnieper River
Dnieper River
The Dnieper River is one of the major rivers of Europe that flows from Russia, through Belarus and Ukraine, to the Black Sea.The total length is and has a drainage basin of .The river is noted for its dams and hydroelectric stations...

, placed in Zaporizhia
Zaporizhia
Zaporizhia or Zaporozhye [formerly Alexandrovsk ] is a city in southeastern Ukraine, situated on the banks of the Dnieper River. It is the administrative center of the Zaporizhia Oblast...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

.
In the lower current of the Dnieper River there were almost 100 km long part of the river filled with rapids. Now this is the distance between the modern cities Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhie
In the 19th century engineers worked on the projects to make the river navigable.
Encyclopedia
The Dnieper Hydroelectric Station ( - DniproHES, - DneproGES, also known as Dneprostroi Dam) is the largest hydroelectric power station on the Dnieper River
Dnieper River
The Dnieper River is one of the major rivers of Europe that flows from Russia, through Belarus and Ukraine, to the Black Sea.The total length is and has a drainage basin of .The river is noted for its dams and hydroelectric stations...

, placed in Zaporizhia
Zaporizhia
Zaporizhia or Zaporozhye [formerly Alexandrovsk ] is a city in southeastern Ukraine, situated on the banks of the Dnieper River. It is the administrative center of the Zaporizhia Oblast...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

.

Early Plans

In the lower current of the Dnieper River there were almost 100 km long part of the river filled with rapids. Now this is the distance between the modern cities Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhie
In the 19th century engineers worked on the projects to make the river navigable. The projects for the flooding of the rapids were proposed by in 1893, V. Timonov(RU) in 1894, S. Maximov and G. Graftio(RU) in 1905, A. Rundo and D. Yuskevich in 1910, I. Rozov and L. Yurgevich in 1912, Mohylko. While the main objective of these projects was to improve navigation, hydropower generation appeared concurrently, in terms of "utiliztion of the freely flowing water".
G. Graftio's(RU) project of 1905 included three dams with a small area of flooding.

GOELRO plan and Construction, 1921-1941

Lenin's slogan "Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country" became a motto for Soviet industrialization.
On February 7, 1920, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Soviets announced the formation of a State Electrification Commission (GOELRO) under the chairmanship of the Bolshevik electrical engineer, Gleb Krzhizhanovskii. The task of the commission was to devise a general plan for electrifying the country via the construction of a network of regional power stations. Ten months later, GOELRO presented its plan, a document of more than five hundred pages, to the Eighth Congress of Soviets in Moscow.

The Dneprostroi Dam was built on deserted land in the countryside to stimulate Soviet industrialization.
The design that was accepted dates back to the GOELRO electrification plan for the USSR, which was adopted in early 1920s. The station was designed by a group of engineers headed by Prof. Ivan Alexandrov
Ivan Alexandrov
Ivan Gavrilovich Alexandrov was a Russian engineer who played a significant role in the modernisation of the Soviet Union.-Early life:Alexandrov participated in developing the GOELRO plan, and was responsible for the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station...

, a chief expert of GOELRO who later became a head of the RSFSR State Planning Commission
Gosplan
Gosplan or State Planning Committee was the committee responsible for economic planning in the Soviet Union. The word "Gosplan" is an abbreviation for Gosudarstvenniy Komitet po Planirovaniyu...

. The station was planned to provide electricity for several aluminium production plants and a high quality steel production plant that were also to be constructed in the area.

DniproHES project used the experience gained from the construction of the Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Power Stations
Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Power Stations
Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Power Stations are two hydroelectric power stations in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. The stations divert water from the Niagara and Welland Rivers above the falls which is then released into the lower portion of the river, and together produce up to 1,926 MW.Adam Beck...

 Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls
The Niagara Falls, located on the Niagara River draining Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, is the collective name for the Horseshoe Falls and the adjacent American Falls along with the comparatively small Bridal Veil Falls, which combined form the highest flow rate of any waterfalls in the world and has...

, Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Hydroelectric Island Maligne, Central La Gabelle the St. Maurice river.

September 17, 1932, for "the outstanding work in the construction of DniproHES" the Soviet government awarded six American engineers (included Hugh Cooper, G. Thompson, the engineer of General Electric), the Order of the Red Banner of Labour
Order of the Red Banner of Labour
The Order of the Red Banner of Labour was an order of the Soviet Union for accomplishments in labour and civil service. It is the labour counterpart of the military Order of the Red Banner. A few institutions and factories, being the pride of Soviet Union, also received the order.-History:The Red...

.

Soviet Industrialization was accompanied by a wide propaganda effort. Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

, by then out of power, campaigned for the idea within the ruling Politburo
Politburo
Politburo , literally "Political Bureau [of the Central Committee]," is the executive committee for a number of communist political parties.-Marxist-Leninist states:...

 in early 1926. In a speech to the Komsomol
Komsomol
The Communist Union of Youth , usually known as Komsomol , was the youth division of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Komsomol in its earliest form was established in urban centers in 1918. During the early years, it was a Russian organization, known as the Russian Communist Union of...

 youth movement, he said:
In the south the Dnieper runs it's course through the wealthiest industrial lands; and it is wasting the prodigious weight of its pressure, playing over age-old rapids and waiting until we harness it's stream, curb it with dams, and compel it to give lights to cities, to drive factories, and to enrich ploughland. We shall compel it!


The dam and its buildings were designed by the constructivist architects
Constructivist architecture
Constructivist architecture was a form of modern architecture that flourished in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and early 1930s. It combined advanced technology and engineering with an avowedly Communist social purpose. Although it was divided into several competing factions, the movement produced...

 Viktor Vesnin and Nikolai Kolli
Nikolai Kolli
Nikolai Dzhemsovich Kolli was a Russian Constructivist architect and city planner.Born in Moscow, Kolli studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and then at Vkhutemas...

. Construction began in 1927 and the plant started to produce electricity in October 1932. Generating some 650 MW, the station became the largest Soviet power plant at the time and one of the largest in the world. American specialists under the direction of Colonel Hugh Cooper took part in the construction. The first five giant power generators were manufactured by General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

. During the second 5-year plan
Five-Year Plan (USSR)
The Five-Year Plans for the National Economy of the Soviet Union were a series of nation-wide centralized exercises in rapid economic development in the Soviet Union. The plans were developed by a state planning committee based on the Theory of Productive Forces that was part of the general...

 four more generators of similar power produced by Elektrosila in Leningrad
Leningrad
Leningrad is the former name of Saint Petersburg, Russia.Leningrad may also refer to:- Places :* Leningrad Oblast, a federal subject of Russia, around Saint Petersburg* Leningrad, Tajikistan, capital of Muminobod district in Khatlon Province...

 were installed.
The Dneprostroi Dam was the largest in Europe at the time of its construction.

The industrial centres of Zaporizhia
Zaporizhia
Zaporizhia or Zaporozhye [formerly Alexandrovsk ] is a city in southeastern Ukraine, situated on the banks of the Dnieper River. It is the administrative center of the Zaporizhia Oblast...

, Kryvy Rih and Dnipropetrovsk
Dnipropetrovsk
Dnipropetrovsk or Dnepropetrovsk formerly Yekaterinoslav is Ukraine's third largest city with one million inhabitants. It is located southeast of Ukraine's capital Kiev on the Dnieper River, in the south-central region of the country...

 grew from the power provided by the station, including such energy-consuming industries as aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 production, which was vitally important for Soviet aviation
Aviation
Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...

.

WWII and Post-war reconstruction

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the strategically important dam and plant was dynamited by retreating Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 troops in 1941, and then again by the retreating German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 troops in 1943. In the end the dam suffered extensive damage, and the powerhouse hall was nearly destroyed. Both were rebuilt between 1944 and 1949.

General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 built the new generators for the Dam. Their weight was more than 2,250,000 pounds. The generators replaced those destroyed during the WWII. Each of the new units is rated 90,000 kilo-volt-amperes, as compared with the 77,500 kV-a of the old generators, built in 1931. A frame diameter of 42 feet, 5 inches, Units have been shipped in 1946.

Power generation was restarted in 1950. In 1969-80, the second powerhouse was built with a production capacity of 836 MW.

Currently, the dam is over 800 metres long and 61 metres high. The dam elevates the river water up to 37 m, which floods the rapids above and makes the entire Dnieper navigable. Over its long history, the dam was hailed as one of the greatest achievements of Soviet industrialization programs.

Post-Soviet time

Today the dam has been privatized and continues to power the adjacent industrial complexes. The pressure of the water leaving the dam is at 38,7 metres and the reservoir that is behind it is 33.3 cubic kilometres. The dam is also used by automobile traffic.

External links

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