Thanks to its many rivers and mountains, Austria is ideal for hydropower. Only a fifth of electricity is generated from clean hydro - power worldwide, while in Austria this renewable energy source accounts for around two thirds. In Europe, the country is only exceeded by Norway and Iceland. More than half of Austria’s hydroelectricity comes from verbund. We have eco-friendly electricity from over 120 hydropower plants in Austria and Germany. Our power plants on the Danube River alone can supply all Austrian households with electricity.
An example of further hydropower expansion is the new Limberg II pumped storage power plant. It will more than double the Kaprun power plant group’s capacity in Salzburg to 833 MW. At the same time, the project will ensure stable grid operation and electricity supply in Austria: In the future, Limberg will feed 10% of the capacity required during peak consumption to the grid. The plant will be built completely underground at an altitude of around 2,000 metres. Once completed, the new power station will therefore be practically invisible.
Leading position in Europe
Having purchased 13 run-of-river power plants on the Inn River in Bavaria with a total capacity of 312 MW, verbund strengthened its presence on the German market – and consolidated its position among the leading European producers of hydroelectricity. In Italy, our joint venture Sorgenia operates 4 hydropower plants with 70 MW capacity in all. Enerjisa, the joint venture in Turkey, has 4 hydropower plants together generating 85 MW and has great plans for expansion in this field. The world’s largest matrix hydropower plant is being built on the Drin River in northern Albania. In Ashta, the two plant stations will each be fitted with 45 turbine/generator units using HYDROMATRIX® technology by 2012.
The small turbines are only the size of a phone box, yet enable the hydropower to be used particularly efficiently. With a total capacity of 53 MW, the plant will be able to supply 100,000 Albanian households with clean electricity in the future. Thee joint venture between verbund and EVN creates jobs and will give impetus to the region and the local economy.