Since the dismemberment of the Soviet Union, the Russian electricity system, the largest in the world, was dominated by the Unified Electrical Power System of Russia (RAO-ESS Rossii) or UES. UES was formed in 1992 to privatise the Russian power system. The Russian electricity grid stretches from Siberia to the Gulf of Finland and links 69 regional power systems (Energos), out of the 93 which existed in the former union. This was previously the Unified Power System, which linked nine of the eleven power systems. The system is linked to the systems of ten countries around its borders. UES operated the largest power stations and the dispatch system. There were also 72 energos, which distributed power on a regional basis in addition to generating power. UES owned the following stakes in the Russian power industry:
1 Thermal plants over 1,000 MW
2 Hydro plant over 300 MW
4 Transmission and dispatch
5 Distribution and supply (energos)
The energos were largely controlled by regional administrations rather than UES, particularly because the electricity tariffs levied on end users are set by Regional Energy Commissions (RECs). Apart from its energo stakes, UES owns the central dispatch administration (TsDU), the high voltage transmission company Federal Grid Cmpany (FGC), 36 power plants (including nine under construction), R&D institutes and stakes in more than 70 construction, maintenance and service companies. Altogether, UES and its daughter energos control 96% of Russia’s high- and low-voltage grid, as well as 72% of installed generating capacity.