T&D World Magazine

Russian Utility Boosts Electricity Distribution Capacity To Vologda Region by 150 Percent with 3M ACCR Line Upgrade

Electric utilities in Russia are continuing to expand their adoption of 3M’s new transmission line technology, which enables substantial increases in overhead line capacity without requiring larger towers or wider rights of way.

In the latest development, Vologda TPP and Vologdaenergo this month reported the installation of 3M ACCR (Aluminum Conductor Composite Reinforced) on a line that links new combined-cycle gas turbine generating units to Vologdaenergo’s power line network. The double-circuit 110-kV line boosted distribution capacity by a factor of 2.5, enabling delivery of the power generated at these units to local substations, reducing the need to import electricity from neighboring regions, and improving reliability in the area.

Last month, a utility in Siberia, Irkutsk Electronetwork Co., completed installation of ACCR, nearly doubling capacity on a line serving the central district of Irkutsk without tower construction or expanded rights of way. And in late 2011, the transmission unit of MOESK (Moscow United Electric Grid Company) installed 3M ACCR to upgrade a line serving a densely populated southern district of Moscow to avoid the need for larger towers. It was the second application of 3M ACCR in Moscow by MOESK. As of now, there are ten installations in Russia.

According to Anatoly Pinizhaninov, chief engineer of Vologdaenergo and its deputy director for technical issues, a five-year investment program that began in 2011 will include additional infrastructure upgrades, of which ACCR “will be an important component.”

Situated in northwestern Russia, Vologda is an “oblast” (administrative district) that includes the ancient city of Vologda, where Tsar Ivan the Terrible chose to hold court for a time in the 16th century. Today, the city, with an estimated population of 302,000, is an important transportation hub for international and domestic commerce, as well as a major cultural center. The district is also known for its metallurgy industries.

3M Russia has been awarded a special citation from the United Energy Systems of Russia, representing the nation’s utilities, for 3M’s development and implementation of “reliable, high-performance, and fast-payback technologies and technical solutions for the power industry.”

“After the United States, Russia now has the largest number of 3M ACCR installations,” says Tim Koenig, director of the 3M High Capacity Conductor Program. “Brazil is close behind, and the unique conductor also is at work in China and India. This is a reliable, proven technology that has been embraced enthusiastically in the world’s growing economies, especially for applications where tower construction poses environmental concerns or logistical problems, such as in congested urban neighborhoods. Its low-sag characteristic also helps address clearance issues. 3M ACCR is a versatile, cost-efficient problem-solver.”

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