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Small-scale power plants to back-up Olympic venues' supply

Sochi’s Olympic bid victory means the city is in for a multi-billion dollar face-lift. The energy infrastructure of the city will have to be overhauled.

Sochi desperately needs modern infrastructure. Almost every year the city experiences electricity shortages because of broken power lines. Since the main supply comes from the federal energy network, the lines go through valleys and mountains making them vulnerable to natural disasters, like heavy snowfall and avalanches.

Three out of the $US 12 BLN the Russian government is planning to spend on Sochi’s Olympic preparations will be used for energy projects. With a budget like this, additional lines will be built to fill the gaps in the city’s power grid.

But there are other possibilities. Developing local power sources could also be an effective solution to the Sochi energy problems. Small hydroelectric plants will guarantee an uninterrupted power supply not only for the Olympic venues, but also for residential communities.

Victor Zavadsky is one of the lead engineers for the Krasnaya Polyana energy project. He's recently given the go ahead to start this station on the outskirts of Krasnaya Polyana. Mr Zavadsky says he’s satisfied with the initial results.

“With the development of the Olympic program the main emphasis should be put on the construction of local stations, like the power-station we have in Adler. These stations will provide enough energy to supply the region,” he says.

The need for reliable power sources will increase in the coming years, with demand expected to reach its peak in 2014. Most of the Olympic facilities will be functioning by then. But all this work is being done not only because of sport. The city that won the Olympic bid by positioning itself as the “Gateway to the Future” will need an advanced electric to grow even more.