A preliminary project was prepared in 1954 for a power plant by Edling an der Drau, which marked the start of specific planning at that location. After detailed studies by the project study committee setup by Verbundgesellschaft, the newly created hydropower planning group of Österreichischen Draukraftwerke AG (ÖDK) had to study four different variations of the location of the plant, which included three block type run-of-river plants with bed enlargement and a pier-head power plant that were in an range of approximately 700 m. Finally in 1959, approval under the Water Act was granted and the building decision was made for the variation furthest to the west.
Site preparation began in April 1959 with clearing of the construction site and excavation of the building pit. A total of 345,000 m2 of soil material had to be removed. It was possible to construct the plant at that location as a block type run-of-river plant with bed enlargement using a single building pit on the south bank using dry construction. The Drau remained in its old riverbed to the north for the time being. Work started so quickly that it hardly left the planning offices any time to complete the building plans for the plant. Therefore, excavation of the building pit had to follow the plans of the preliminary draft.
A temporary construction bridge was built downstream in order to ensure a connection between the two sides of the construction site for material transport, on the one hand, and on the other hand to be able to provide an alternate route for general traffic during the time required to raise the Völkermarkt bridge. A supply of power was ensured during construction by means of a 20 kV line from the Schwabeck power plant.
Work on the reservoir, which had to be expanded through large-scale dams and pumping stations to keep the polder dry, began in 1960. Planning in the preliminary project envisaged a six kilometre long levee on the north bank between Völkermarkt and Rakollach. For cost reasons, it was reduced to a three kilometre dam with a pumping station by Rakollach. The south bank by the Seidendorf and St. Lorenzen-St. Marxen polder had to be protected by dams. The reservoir capacity measures were more expensive here than for any other Drau power plant. Around 20% of the entire construction costs excluding land acquisition went into this work.
Concrete work on the power house was carried out until the summer of 1961. It took until April 1962 for the weir system. This work required a total of 168,000 m2 of concrete. Around 80% of it was placed as Flual pumped concrete. The aggregate necessary for it came from an excavation field specifically created on the right bank of the Drau.
When the first turbine was started up on March 30, 1962, it was also possible to switch through the line to Obersielach for the first time as well and thereby feed electricity into the Verbund grid. The second hydroelectric generating set went into trial operation on the grid in June of the same year.
The swell run-of-river Edling power plant was the first run-of-river power plant of ÖDK that was undertaken entirely as a post-war project. About 41,000 tons of cement and 3,600 tons of construction iron were used for the project, and the gross head of 21 metres was a record at that time. Edling was also the end of the "Lower Drau" development section.
An 18 hectare quiet water biotope was created by Neudenstein in the years 1989 to 1991, which was later put under nature protection. It was declared a European nature reserve in 2005.