The turbine has an improved design, increased efficiency, and a high degree of environmental safety. The replacement will increase the capacity of the hydropower unit from 115 MW to 125.5 MW. The impeller of the new 5-bladed turbine is designed for a higher water flow rate, which provides an increase in power. This will reduce idle discharges through the spillway in the flood period and ensure additional power generation.
In addition, the hydro generator was replaced with a new one, and the most up-to-date hydraulic control, vibration control and diagnostic systems were installed on the unit in the course of overhaul. The work was carried out as part of RusHydro's Comprehensive Modernization Program (CMP).
All in all, there are 20 hydropower units at the Zhigulevskaya HPP, six of which had been overhauled before 2010. In 2010, RusHydro and Power Machines signed a contract that provides for the renewal of 14 of the hydropower units at the plant. Now that hydropower unit No. 8 has been put into operation, two other units remain to be overhauled. According to the schedule, the work is to be completed in 2017. As a result of the Comprehensive Modernization Program implementation, the Zhigulevskaya HPP's installed capacity will increase by 147 MW and reach 2,488 MW.
Besides, air circuit breakers with the expired service life are being replaced with SF6 circuit breakers on the ОРУ(ORU)-500kV open switchgear at the HPP as part of the CMP Program. The replacement of hydromechanical equipment and automation systems is also underway at the plant. The purpose of the Zhigulevskaya HPP facilities overhaul is to improve the reliability and safety of the power plant, to reduce operational and repair costs, as well as to increase the equipment capacity.