Alongside St. Johann, Urreiting, Bischofshofen and Kreuzbergmaut, Werfen-Pfarrwerfen power plant is the fifth hydropower plant on the middle section of the Salzach. Together they annually generate some 375 million kilowatt hours and therewith supply approx. 107,000 households.
With an investment volume of 63.5 million Euro, the new Salzach power plant was constructed over a period of 28 months by VERBUND-Austrian Hydro Power AG, together with Salzburg AG. With a capacity of 16 megawatts, the new hydropower plant annually generates some 76.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity, which flow into the regional grid. This therewith makes an important contribution to the security of power supply in the entire region, since an average of approx. 22,000 households can be supplied with environmentally friendly energy.
In the winter half year from October through to March, two powerful bulb turbines produce a total of approx. 23 gigawatts of electricity. Around 50 percent of the total production of 76.5 gigawatts is generated in the peak months of May, June, July and August.
The total investment volume for the new Salzach power plant amounts to 63.5 million Euro. Despite a pan-European call for tenders, only Austrian companies were successfully selected for this power plant. Some 25 percent of the awarded contract volume remains in the province of Salzburg in the form of direct contacts and sub-contracts. Thus, Pöyry Energy GmbH (Salzburg/Vienna), Werner Consult (Salzburg/Vienna) and the Institute of Ecology (Salzburg), among others, were entrusted with planning work.
The companies Christian Ehrensberger GmbH (Bischofshofen), Deisl-Beton GmbH (Hallein), Gruber Sand-Kies-Steine GmbH (Großarl), as well as as Salzburger Sand-und Kieswerke (Bergheim) came together to form ARGE Salzach Beton and delivered the concrete, as well as the armour stone, which was needed for the construction of Werfen-Pfarrwerfen power plant.
More than 2.3 million Euro was spent on the planning and implementation of ecological measures in the backwater area and underwater environment. Some 1.1 million Euro of this went on state-of-the-art fish ladders that were in part erected as a natural stream, but mainly in the form of a "vertical slot". On the right bank of the Salzach a towpath was established from the ÖBB underpass, some 600 metres above Imlau bridge, through until Werfen railway station. The towpath on the left bank of the Salzach runs upstream from the power house until the motorway bridge, and was extended by the province of Salzburg along the national highway until Imlau bridge. Both towpaths are open to the public and may be cycled along.