Electric Power Generation

Hydropower and Pumped-Storage Plants

NEK EAD is the owner of 30 hydropower and pumped-storage plants, with a total installed capacity of 2713 MW in the generating mode, and 937 MW in the pumping mode.

Most of the hydro power is generated by the 14 largest hydropower plants, with a total installed capacity of 2480 MW. They are operated within four hydropower cascades: Belmeken ­ Sestrimo ­ Chaira; Batak; Vacha; and Dolna Arda. All are used to cover peak loads, and to regulate the grid system.

Major consumers are the reversible pump-turbines at the Chaira, Belmeken and Orfeus pumped-storage plants and to a smaller extent the pumping stations at the Batak cascade.

Dams and Cascades

NEK EAD, through its branch Dams and Cascades, monitors, maintains and repairs dams (with multi-year, yearly, seasonal, weekly and daily facilities), as well as more than 500 water intakes and hundreds of kilometers of open-flow and pressurized water conveyance channels within the energy system. The main responsibility of Dams and Cascades is to ensure the reliable operation of the various hydraulic works.

The total capacity of the storage reservoirs operated by NEK EAD represents 50.1% of the total controlled water resources of the country. Safety of the dams is ensured by regular technical inspection programmes, and all structures are equipped with control and instrumentation systems.

Major dams operated and maintained by NEK EAD



Environmental Performance

NEK EAD pursues an environmental policy aimed to mitigate the impact of its activity on the environment. Following the principles of this policy the company is seeking to utilize natural resources in an efficient and economical manner and to develop renewables and low carbon based power projects. Environmental performance is further improved by introducing environmentally friendly technologies and advanced operation and maintenance practices and procedures.

NEK EAD is committed to the environmental cause throughout the whole lifecycle of the energy resources from their production through generation of electrical energy to its distribution and supply to the end consumer. The commitments and responsibilities of the company in the field of environmental protection and public health are intended to support the sustainable development of the society.

NEK EAD is planning the development of the energy industry of the country in accordance with the provisions of the energy law. The different scenarios of the least cost development plan are considered and analyzed also in terms of their environmental impact. In its environmental policy NEK EAD is seeking to increase the share of energy produced from renewable and low emission sources. The environmental analysis of the development scenarios helps to improve the efficiency of energy conversion of the existing energy capacity and to develop new capacity featuring better environmental parameters. At the same time projects are being implemented and actions are being taken all aimed to reduce transmission losses that also contribute to mitigate the environmental impact due to the more efficient use of energy resources.

Mitigation of climate changes, part of which is caused by the energy sector, requires NEK EAD to redefine its policy and activity in terms of environmental performance. Increased hydro power generation by NEK's hydropower plants and pumped storage plants is already one of its most important priorities.

To increase the hydro output and reduce the emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases associated with thermal plants, NEK EAD is implementing plans for the construction of new hydropower schemes as well as the refurbishment of existing hydro and pumped-storage plants. The intention is to develop these projects in accordance with the flexible mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol, such as Joint Implementation projects.