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Daugava hydropower plants

The Daugava HPPs are the biggest hydropower plants in the country providing for an environmentally friendly mode of electricity generation. They operate on water – a renewable energy source.

Although the installed capacity of the Daugava HPPs is high, their ability to generate electricity depends on the water inflow in the Daugava River. In years with normal inflow levels, the Daugava HPPs operate at full capacity during the spring flooding season, which lasts for about one to two months annually. During the flooding period, the water volume may exceed water inflow during low water periods more than 10 times. During the spring flooding, Latvenergo Group is able to cover the entire customer demand for electricity and trade the excess on the electricity exchange.

Outside the flooding season, the Daugava HPPs provide for the possibility to accumulate water and generate electricity when the demand and prices on the Nord Pool exchange increase. Plavinas HPP and Riga HPP can also operate in synchronous compensator mode (adjusting the voltage in high-voltage electric networks), allowing the transmission system operator to ensure a certain voltage quality.

In 2017, the Daugava HPPs generated 4,270 GWh of electricity, which is 74% above the level of the previous year. The water inflow to the Daugava was exceptionally high this year; thus, the output of the Daugava HPPs was the highest since 1998 and the third highest since monitoring began in 1966. The amount of electricity generated by the Daugava HPPs in 2017 accounted for 74% of the Group’s total electricity output.

Latvenergo Group is continuing with the gradual overhaul of the unreconstructed hydropower units at the Daugava HPPs. The main purpose of the reconstruction project is to replace outdated hydro turbines and increase the installed capacity, efficiency rate and electricity output. This promotes reliable, efficient, sustainable and competitive operations of the Daugava HPPs within the overall energy system and liberalised electricity market.

Thirteen of the 23 Daugava HPPs hydropower units have already been modernised. The hydropower unit reconstruction process is scheduled for completion in 2022. The total cost for reconstructing the hydropower units is expected to exceed EUR 200 million. The investments made by the end of the reporting year amounted to EUR 128.4 million. The reconstruction will provide for operation of the hydropower units for the next 40 years.

  • Plavinas HPP

    Plavinas HPP plays a very significant role in the Latvian energy system – with ten hydropower units, whose total installed capacity is 894 MW, it is the largest hydropower plant in the Baltics and one of the largest in the European Union.

    Plavinas HPP began operation in 1968. This structure is unique – it was proven for the first time that it is practically possible to build a medium head power plant on soft ground. Reconstruction of hydropower units has been carried out at the plant several times. Also, reconstruction within the framework of the hydropower unit reconstruction programme started in 2011 and continues at Plavinas HPP.

    In 2017, Plavinas HPP generated 2,429 GWh of electricity, which is 57% of the amount generated by the Daugava HPPs.

  • Riga HPP

    Riga HPP started operation in 1974/1975, and it is the youngest of the Daugava hydropower plants. It has six hydropower units with the total capacity of 402 MW.

    In 2017, Riga HPP generated 1,016 GWh of electricity.

  • Kegums HPP

    Kegums HPP was constructed during the first period of independence of Latvia, and the year 1939, when its first hydropower unit was put into operation, can be considered the beginning of the Latvian power engineering, also marking the beginning of the history of Latvenergo Group.

    In fact, this structure is a complex of hydropower plants, since it consists of two plants constructed in different periods. The first of them is located on the right bank of the Daugava River, while the second was built on the left bank, installing three new hydropower units which were commissioned in 1979.

    Kegums HPP was constructed during the first period of independence of Latvia, and the year 1939, when its first hydropower unit was put into operation, can be considered the beginning of the Latvian power engineering, also marking the beginning of the history of Latvenergo Group.

    Kegums HPP consists, in fact, of two plants constructed in different periods. The first of them is located on the right bank of the Daugava River, while the second was built on the left bank, installing three new hydropower units which were commissioned in 1979.

    The total capacity of Kegums HPP is 240 MW, and in 2017 it generated 825 GWh of electricity.

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