VERBUND is Investing over 50 Million Euro in the Zillertal Valley for Efficiency Increase and Renewal

6/21/2011Wien

Measures to promote efficiency increase and renewal of the existing power plants of Mayrhofen and Rosshag in the Zillertal valley.Measures to promote efficiency increase and renewal of the existing power plants of Mayrhofen and Rosshag in the Zillertal valley.Measures to promote efficiency increase and renewal of the existing power plants of Mayrhofen and Rosshag in the Zillertal valley.Measures to promote efficiency increase and renewal of the existing power plants of Mayrhofen and Rosshag in the Zillertal valley.Measures to promote efficiency increase and renewal of the existing power plants of Mayrhofen and Rosshag in the Zillertal valley.Measures to promote efficiency increase and renewal of the existing power plants of Mayrhofen and Rosshag in the Zillertal valley.

When it’s a matter of safeguarding the provision of clean electricity from hydropower, VERBUND follows a consistent strategy: improving the efficiency of the existing plants and the sustainable development of suitable sites. In the process, special attention is given to pumped storage power plants, which are an ideal partner for the weather-dependent renewable energy carriers of wind and sun. The upcoming improvement in the efficiency of the Zillertal power plant group represents a significant step in enabling Austria and Tyrol to become an important component of Europe’s green battery.

Hydropower in its capacity as VERBUND’s supporting pillar
"VERBUND’s supporting pillar is - and remains - hydropower. We use it to generate CO2-free electricity and, furthermore, make a contribution by also being able to store electricity in an environmentally friendly way via our pumped storage power plants. In their capacity as the "green battery of the Alps", pumped storage power plants are able to balance the fluctuating supply of electricity from solar and wind power plants and help these energy sources to gain acceptance," said Ulrike Baumgartner-Gabitzer, VERBUND board member responsible for hydropower, explaining the strategy of Austria’s leading electricity company. "At the same time, Tyrol is already playing a very important role."

Greater efficiency in the safeguarding of supply security
The current decision, to make massive investments in the improvement of efficiency and the renewal of existing power plant sites in Zillertal, has been preceded by comprehensive and careful inspections. "We have analysed all technical possibilities and opted for those measures that bring us technologically up-to-date with the best possible degree of efficiency. And that do so without us tampering with nature," explained Karl Heinz Gruber, Technical Director of the hydropower company VERBUND Hydro Power AG. In concrete terms, important turbines, pumps and generator components have been renewed and the most modern automation technology introduced. "These measures enable us to restore the availability of the Mayrhofen and Rosshag power plants to 100 % and to improve the degree of efficiency by more than 2 %. After all, this amounts to some 20 million kilowatt hours more electricity per year, which contributes to domestic supply security and the implementation of the Tyrol energy concept," Gruber added. "This is a significant step for VERBUND as a partner in the pact for energy efficiency in Austria."

Value creation in the region
Over the coming years, VERBUND will invest over 50 million Euro into increasing the efficiency and renewing the two Zillertal power plants at Mayrhofen and Rosshag, which were commissioned in 1969 and 1972 respectively. "We know from experience that this type of contract leads to a significant value creation in the region. Several partial contracts and services can be executed and completed by local and regional companies. In the Zillertal region, the major portion is awarded to Austrian and Tyrolean companies. This is a good testimony with regard to competitiveness and Knowhow for the domestic economy, and of sustainable profit for Tyrol," says Michael Amerer, Member of the Managing Board of the hydropower subsidiary of VERBUND, VERBUND Hydro Power AG.