The decision on construction of Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station was accepted in September 1954. In the autumn of the same year, the first workers and equipment arrived in Bratsk, and on December 21, 1954 preparatory work for erection of hydroelectric power station started. Construction of the facility was conducted by the specially created Nizhneangargesstroy management, which was later called Bratskgesstroy.
Construction of a large Siberian city started simultaneously with construction of the station. On November 5, 1955, the first houses were built in Postoyannyi Settlement, and the first street of the future city was founded in 1956. It was called Naberezhnaya Street. On December 12, 1955, Bratsk working settlement was later called Bratsk city of the area subordination under the Decree of Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic.
On February 28, 1956, the first concrete factory was started up at the place of construction. In July of the same year, large-scale civil works on creation of constant industrial bases on the both banks of the Angara River were initiated: factories, concrete and reinforced concrete testing sites were founded.
In July 1955, construction of Irkutsk-Bratsk HVTL-220 high-voltage electricity transmission line started; its erection was finished in October 1957. On November 6, Bratsk substation received the current of Irkutsk Hydroelectric Power Station; and on December 8, HVTL-220 was started up. In January 1959-1961, HVTL-500 - the second transmission line - was built. In total, in 1967, by the moment of start-up of Bratsk hydro-unit, it was connected to consumers of 12 high-voltage lines of 4 thousand kilometers total length.
In 1955 the railway line was built, which connected the right-bank site of construction with Taishet-Lena railway. On June 1, 1957, Bratsk Airport was inaugurated for the regular flights.
On July 18-19, 1961, the Bratsk Sea filling began; thus, the level at the dam raised more than by 100 meters. The Bratsk Sea became the largest artificial reservoir in the world.
On December 12, 1963, the 15th and 16th units of Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station were thrown on the industrial load and included in the unified energy system of Siberia. With their start-up, the total capacity of the power station reached the design capacity of 3.6 thousand watt. The station central control desk was put into operation on May 9, 1964. Thus, now the station could be controlled by two people.
On September 30, 1964 the dam was completely constructed. There are more than 5 million cubic meters of concrete in the station foundation in total. Its height equaled 125 meters, length amounted to 1452 meters.
On March 3, 1965 last meters of the dam of the constant causeway were laid. On June 16, 1965, the first freight and passenger trains passed on the dam of Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station; automobile traffic was opened on July 28.
On December 14, 1966, the last eighteenth unit of the world’s largest hydroelectric station was thrown on the industrial load. In 1967 the State commission has accepted Bratsk hydro-unit for constant operation.
On December 26, 1964, the State Industrial Committee for Power and Electrification of the USSR founded the lapel badge "Builder of Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station". A large group of veterans of construction was awarded this badge. Besides, many builders of Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station were awarded medals of the USSR.
Now 18 units of 4.5 million watt capacity allow to produce annually up to 30 billion of watt-hours of the electric power. Bratsk powermen produced more than 800 billion of watts, which are used for manufacture of aluminum, cellulose, building materials, for industrial and household needs of the area and the country. And though more powerful hydroelectric power stations have been constructed, Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station still remains the worldwide leader with regard to the total amount of the electric power production from the beginning of start-up of the first unit.