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April 22, 2010

IDGC Holding: from electric grid operation experience in heat deficit period to future objectives

At the April 22, 2010, All-Russian meeting dedicated to the operational results of the electric sector entities in the 2009–2010 heat deficit period (HDP), the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation and Chairman of the IDGC Holding Board of Directors made a special mention of IDGC Holding’s efficient efforts during HDP.

IDGC Holding Director General Nikolay Shvets made a presentation of the electric grid companies’ performance.

According to Mr. Shvets, “during the 2009–2010 heat deficit period, the IDGC Holding electric grid companies ensured reliable electricity supply without any serious shortcomings. This was achieved owing to a package of measures taken to build, rehabilitate, and reequip electric grid facilities.”

As part of the efforts made under the guidance of IDGC Holding to prepare for the 2009–2010 HDP, the electric grid companies developed and approved key production programs and purpose-oriented programs for improving electric grid facilities and enhancing their operational reliability. Construction, rehabilitation, and technical upgrading of electric grid facilities in the constructing in IDGC Holding’s area of responsibility were conducted applying new technologies and state-of-the-art equipment. The IDGC Holding Maintenance Program for 2009 was fully implemented, said Nikolay Shvets.

The integrated measures assigned to IDGC of Siberia and IDGC Holding by the Government of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation in connection with the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP accident were taken within the prescribed period. The main measures were as follows:
- ensuring reliable electricity supply for accident recovery work at Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP and its auxiliaries;
- strengthening of operating mobile and maintenance teams;
- conducting 15 network-wide training sessions, participation in the system emergency response drill for the Khakass Regional Dispatching Administration ĐÄÓ, participation in the intersystem training session for the Integrated Dispatching Administration of Siberia and in the interdepartmental drill in the Republic of Khakassia;
- development of proposals for reducing the time of imposing temporary cutoff schedules (TCS), implementation of the program for creation/modernization of a supervisory system having a supervisory control function at the Khakasenergo facilities engaged in the imposition of TCS.

In 2009, IDGC Holding companies put into operation more than 10,000 kilometers of power transmission lines and about 10 thousand MVA of transformer facilities.

To enhance sustainable development of grid infrastructure and efficiently implement investment programs, IDGC Holding develop a draft Consolidated Investment Program for 2010. In accordance with Russian Government Resolution No. 977 of December 1, 2009, the Investment Program covered the facility projects designed for implementation of the following programs: Energy Conservation and Enhancement of Energy Efficiency; Development of Emergency and Mode Automation Systems; Development of Telecontrol and Communication Systems; and Installation of Devices for Voltage Regulation and Reactive Power Compensation.

The IDGC Holding Consolidated Investment Program is aimed at ensuring reliable current and future electricity supply for entities and households and connecting new customers.

The Director General of IDGC Holding spoke about the top-priority objectives to be attained by the electric distribution grid sector 2010. The highest-priority objective is to develop and approve the Program for Renovation of Electric Distribution Grid Facilities for the Period Ending 2020.

“The Program for Renovation will make it possible to solve the key problem faced by the electric distribution grid sector—depreciation of fixed assets. At present, depreciation figures are 1.5–2 times as high as those of foreign grid companies and reach about 69%. The implementation of this Program will make it possible to reduce depreciation and losses to 48% and 6.1% respectively by 2019,” emphasized Nikolay Shvets.

In this connection, according to Mr. Shvets, the implementation of the Investment Program, including its reequipment and rehabilitation components, does not contribute to the reduction in overall physical depreciation of the fixed assets.

The Renovation Program value is estimated at 2.85 trillion rubles. It is planned to submit the Program to the Government of the Russian Federation in May 2010.

“It is noteworthy,” emphasized Nikolay Shvets, “that the implementation of the Program for Renovation will be accompanied with higher work loads for domestic equipment manufacturers, building and installation entities, research and design institutions, as well as the utilization of equipment based on modern innovative technologies.”

One of the high-priority objectives of IDGC Holding, as a company responsible for providing reliable and high quality electricity supply services, is to consolidate electric grid assets located in the operational areas of IDGC/DGC.

At present, many regional network assets are owned by local authorities, agencies, and private entities. In addition, there is a great deal of unowned and unmaintained networks.

In the operational areas of IDGC Holding companies, there are more than 2.5 thousand territorial grid organizations (TGO) accounting for about 20% of regional minimum regulated revenue (MRR). According to the tariff and balance decisions for 2010, the increase in IDGC Holding companies’ own MRR averaged 5.1%, while the increase in MRR of territorial grid organizations reached 28.2%. Therefore, the decisions made by the regional authorities were not in favor of the electric distribution grid companies of IDGC Holding.

“The consolidation efforts will result in higher reliability and manageability of the distribution grid system in the Russian Federation, lower operation cost per conventional equipment unit, optimized operating and investment cost, which will eventually lead to lower tariffs for ultimate consumers,” summarized Nikolay Shvets. The calculations as exemplified by the Republic of Buryatia showed that the consolidation of TGO into IDGC of Siberia will result in a nearly 3-kopecks/KWh reduction in the ultimate tariff for consumers in the Republic.

One of the vital objectives for 2010 is to implement the Program for Construction of Olympic Facilities, in the operational area of Kubanenergo, an affiliate of IDGC Holding. The cost of the Program for the period ending 2013 is estimated at 23.4 billion rubles (inclusive of VAT), including about 21.1 billion rubles from the federal budget. In 2009, 2.6 billion rubles was raised through an additional issue of Kubanenergo shares to implement this purpose-oriented program.

The analysis of the main causes of technological problems in the 2009/2010 heat deficit period shows that the following measures should be taken to lower the accident rate: to implement teleautomation for substations; strengthen pole basements; clear forest openings for overhead transmission lines; replace oil breakers for vacuum or SF6 breakers; conduct technical certification of electric installation; replace overloaded supply transformers for high-power transformers; and replace physically and morally obsolete equipment and protective-relay and automatic devices.

The Director General of IDGC Holding spoke about the need for amending laws to enhance reliability of the electric distribution grid sector. According to Mr. Shvets, thorough legal development is required for the following issues:
- Categorization of transformer platforms as hazardous production facilities;
- Disambiguation of the existing regulatory and legal framework with regard to investigation of accidents and technological violations;
- Revision of programs for the extension and modernization of information gathering and transfer systems in accordance with standard documents approved by the System Operator;
- Cross-subsidization (including prolongation of the “last mile” terms);
- Transfer to a two-tariff payment system for electricity transmission services;
- Adoption of maximum permissible customer capacity as a basis for calculating electric grid maintenance rates;
- Calculation of electricity transmission service cost depending on service reliability and quality factors;
- Establishment of the procedure for translation of free wholesale-market prices to minimize their effect on electric grid entities when they buy electricity and to compensate for losses;
- Adoption of electricity tariffs differentiated by day zone (hour);
- Creation of equal conditions for territorial and distribution grid companies using tariff regulation methods.




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