A festive groundbreaking ceremony in the Möll Valley: VERBUND is investing in the expansion of Austrian hydropower and is starting construction of the Reißeck II pumped storage power plant. With a capacity of 430 megawatts and an investment volume of 385 million Euro, the underground hydropower station will supply valuable balancing and control energy from renewable hydropower following its planned completion in 2014.
"With the construction of Reißeck II, VERBUND is investing in the expansion of Austrian hydropower and simultaneously providing an important boost for the entire development of renewable energy in Austria," says Wolfgang Anzengruber, chairman of the managing board of VERBUND AG, on the occasion of the festive groundbreaking ceremony for the Reißeck II pumped storage power station in Carinthia’s Möll Valley. In its capacity as Austria’s leading electricity company, VERBUND is expanding and modernizing its existing Malta/Reißeck power plant group with the addition of Reißeck II: "Through the raising of the important balancing and control energy, the power plant group is making a significant contribution to the secure supply of electricity in Austria," says Anzengruber.
The Reißeck II project combines Malta and Reißeck/Kreuzeck, the two power plant systems that are hydraulically separated at present, via a new underground waterway with a length of more than five kilometres: "This hydraulic fusion enables the optimal utilization of existing plants, such as the reservoirs, for example, whereby interference with nature is kept to a minimum. A unique and sustainable increase in efficiency is therewith achieved for the entire power plant group," says Ulrike Baumgartner-Gabitzer, the managing board member responsible for hydropower in VERBUND AG.
With a turbine capacity of 430 megawatts, Reißeck II will increase the entire capacity of the VERBUND power plant group Malta/Reißeck by more than 40 % to 1,459 megawatts. Malta/Reißeck will therewith be one of the most powerful power plant groups in Europe to generate environmentally friendly electricity from renewable hydropower. "The core of the plant will be the underground hydropower plant, which will constructed entirely below ground in the mountain and installed in the two modern pump turbine sets," explains Karl Heinz Gruber, board director of VERBUND Hydro Power AG: "At the same time, an important characteristic of this power plant is the dual operating role: During periods of low consumption, electricity that has been produced in wind power plants, for example, can be used for the pump operation, whereby water is drawn from the lower reservoir into the upper reservoir. If the conventional power plants are then unable to make sufficient electricity available during peak consumption periods – due to a lack of wind, for example, the stored energy in the Reißeck II turbine operation is then made rapidly and very controllably available," says Gruber, explaining the operating principle of the Reißeck II pumped storage power plant.
Total investment of 385 million Euro for the expansion of hydropower
The total investment of the Reißeck II project amounts to 385 million Euro and is being borne by VERBUND, together with the project partners KELAG-Kärntner Elektrizitäts-Aktiengesellschaft and Energie AG Upper Austria. "With this large investment project, we are providing an important boost for the Austrian economy and for regional added value because, during the more than four years of construction, not only is the building project safeguarding hundreds of workplaces in the industry and in the building trade, but also regionally in commerce, in the accommodation facilities and in the catering industry," says Michael Amerer, managing board director of VERBUND Hydro Power AG, on the occasion of the festive groundbreaking ceremony for the Reißeck II pumped storage power plant.
The VERBUND pumped storage power plant Reißeck II is scheduled to start operations in 2014.