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History of energy
in Georgia

During the time of the Russian empire, no one paid attention to building power plants, especially to building hydropower plants. There were only nine hydropower plants in the Russian empire, including one of the first and the oldest in Georgia, "Borjomi HPP". "Borjomi HPP" was put into operation on the 15th of January 1899, which was a big step for Georgia in the direction of nature and environmental protection. At the start, the hydropower plant was manufacturing only 60 K.W. eco-friendly electricity, which today equals supplying 12 apartments with electricity. In the power station were used two Pelton turbines, each with 70 horsepower. In 1950 Borjomi hydropower plant stopped manufacturing electricity. 


The Borjomi Hydropower plant is under rehabilitation, with the help of the "Georgian Energy Development Fund", and is being altered to an industrial museum. Borjomi HPP will include three buildings. The first structure will contain a hydropower plant and will consist of a museum. The second structure will be used for exhibitions and the information section, and the third structure will be considered an administrative section. Borjomi hydropower plant rehabilitation will be fully finished in 2023.


Hydropower plants that were built during the time of the Russian empire also included Bolnisi HPP 60 horsepower (81,4 KW), Gagra HPP 810 horsepower (1101,6 KW), Bchvinta HPP 45 horsepower (45 K.W.), Akhali Atoni 120 horsepower (244,8 KW), Besleti 600 horsepower (816 KW), Akhalqalaqi 120 horsepower (163,2 KW) and two small hydropower plants in Racha. During and also after the First world war, the hydropower plants have never stopped working.


After establishing the Soviet government in Georgia, began construction of Relatively large (Zemo Avchala and Rioni HPP) and small hydropower plants. The 1700 KW power station was built on the river Abasha in 1928, and in 1940 there were 100 functioning power stations in Georgia.  


The construction of small-capacity hydropower plants began at a remarkably rapid pace after World War II. By 1963 their number was 250, and by the end of the 1970s, it was 400. These hydropower plants were mainly built for the local power supply of agricultural consumers - collective farms and Soviet farms- and regional centres and villages, resorts, and other consumers. It was subordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Communal Services, Health, and Electricity administration.


In 1961, the construction of the Enguri HPP, the largest hydropower plant in the Caucasus, began. Seventeen years later, in 1978, the Enguri HPP was put into operation. Its arched dam has been granted the status of a monument of national importance.


In 1978, another sizeable annual hydropower plant in Georgia, Zhinvali HPP, was put into operation. It only reached full capacity-130 M.W., in 1987. The Enguri Arch Dam is still the 6th tallest dam globally, and it has been granted the status of a cultural monument of national importance. Documentary about Enguri HPP:


There are currently 99 registered HPPs operating in Georgia. 54 HPPs were built in Georgia from 2001 to 2020, of which 41 were small, and 13 were medium-sized. The total investment of hydropower plants built in Georgia from 2001 to 2020 is about 2 billion USD, with a full installed capacity of 1303 MW.

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