Tashlyk HPSPP hydraulic unit 3 to operate at existing level of Olexandrivska water reservoir
SE «NNEGC «Energoatom» continues to implement the state Hydropower Development Program until 2026, envisaging, in particular, the completion of the Tashlyk Hydro Pumped Storage Power Plant (THPSPP) construction.
Currently, THPSPP has two hydraulic units with a total working capacity of 302 MW while the level of the Olexandrivska water reservoir is 16 meters. The commissioning of the hydraulic unit 3, which should take place by the end of 2021, does not provide for an increase in this level. Therefore, all the uproar raised by public organizations of various kinds over the completion of the Tashlyk HPSPP is not only unfounded but also openly harms the ecological situation in the region and the work of Energoatom aimed not only to provide uninterrupted electricity supply to the public but also to achieve true energy independence of Ukraine.
In total, THPSPP will have six hydraulic units under the project of construction of the South-Ukraine power complex hydropower facilities. The completion of construction is possible not earlier than 2026, and eventually, the complex operation will require raising the water level in the Olexandrivska water reservoir up to 16.9 meters. Technologically, it is the level, which will allow Tashlyk HPSPP to operate with six units, so there is no question of further raising the water level above this mark.
It should be noted that the Olexandrivska water reservoir is used not only to ensure the operation of the South-Ukraine power complex but also for irrigation and water supply to residents and mainly agricultural enterprises of the Mykolayiv region. As the region is geographically located in an arid zone, the average daily temperature increases every year while precipitation decreases, water withdrawal is constantly increasing, it is not surprising that experts record a steady decrease in the water content of the Southern Buh.
That is why during the preparation of the THPSPP completion project Energoatom initiated the raising of the Olexandrivska water reservoir level up to the mark of 20.7 m. The need for this step is also substantiated in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report. However, it is important to remember: filling the reservoir to this level is provided only at the peak of spring floods.
Furthermore, both the Tashlyk HPSPP completion project and the EIA Report were developed taking into account water supply problems and the needs of water users, so as not to worsen the sanitary and epidemiological situation in the lower reaches of the Southern Buh River. «From the hygienic standpoint of the normal headwater level (NHL), 20.7 m is the most profitable, as it allows to stabilize sanitary water discharges into the lower reach, that will improve the sanitary situation in the river», the state sanitary and hygienic expert's report № 489 of October 2, 1997, stated.
Thus, the completion of the Tashlyk HPSPP will contribute both to the uninterrupted operation of the nuclear power plant and the solution of such urgent «water problems» of the arid steppe Mykolayiv region:
- sanitary discharge into the lower reaches of the Southern Buh not less than 17 m³/s;
- creation of an additional 46.1 million m³ of water volume for water management needs of the Mykolaiv region.
Note also that the reduction of water pass below the sanitary level of 17 m³/s immediately leads to the entry of salty seawater into the water supply system of the Mykolayiv region and makes the water virtually unusable by the public and agricultural enterprises.
All THPSPP construction works are carried out under the project approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine by its ordinance № 552-р dated 13.07.2016 and agreed by the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Energy and Coal Mining on 20.11.2018 and 07.03.2019, respectively. These decisions are based on the results of many years of research, observations, and feasibility studies carried out by leading expert organizations – PJSC «Ukrhydroprojekt», NAS of Ukraine, CS «Ukrinvestexpertyza», etc.
Environmentally safe operation of nuclear generation remains one of the major priorities of Energoatom. The company is careful not to harm people or nature!
As part of the environmental impact assessment, both the increase of the normal headwater level of the Olexandrivska water reservoir up to 16.9 m and alternatives will be considered. However, the problem with the stable water supply of local communities, the enterprises, and the agribusiness of the Mykolayiv region, which lately only worsens, will remain unresolved further. So instead of false and baseless criticism, we hope to see public cohesion in support of the THPSPP completion project given that the operation of the hydro pumped storage power plant is crucial not only for the Mykolayiv region but for entire Ukraine.