Within the framework of a special ceremony, one of the most important Styrian production projects concerning renewable energy was today officially opened in the south of Graz by provincial governor Franz VOVES: With immediate effect, Gössendorf hydropower plant – constructed by Energie Steiermark in cooperation with VERBUND – will supply an annual 90 million kilowatt hours of green electricity, therewith covering the requirement of more than 23,000 households and preventing the pollutant emissions of more than 50,000 tonnes of CO2. More than two thirds of all contracts for this 90 million Euro investment were awarded to domestic companies, including Andritz AG, among others. A total of more than 100 jobs were secured in Styria during the approx. two-year construction period. The habitat along the Mur has been upgraded by means of numerous recreational measures, and the floodwater protection has been decidedly improved for abutting communities. Similarly to Johann SEITINGER, the provincial government member responsible for the area of water management, governor VOVES underlined the provinces’ cross-party commitment to the expansion of renewable energy.
"The power plant is backing the highest pan-European standards in terms of ecology: More than 15 million Euro have been spent on some 100 ecological compensation measures," stressed board spokesman of Energie Steiermark, Christian PURRER, at the opening and pointed to the close dialogue with the population and ecologists, which has been extremely positively received. A fact that was confirmed during the official ceremony by the mayors of the abutting municipalities, Franz MACHER (Gössendorf), Adolf PELLISCHEK (Feldkirchen), Karl ZIEGLER (Fernitz) and Ursula RAUCH (Kalsdorf), among others.
Purrer: "For Energie Steiermark, this hydropower is a special premiere after more than 10 years – naturally, we are thus getting involved in independent energy production once more. We must make ourselves less reliant upon electricity imports and want to expand the share of green electricity in Styria." All endeavours in this connection are concentrated, on the one hand, on the issue of energy efficiency whilst, on the other, the focus of the Styrian provincial energy company is on the construction of production plants in the area of renewable energy: Alongside numerous photovoltaic and biomass plants, further hydropower plants are in preparation on the Mur – in cooperation with VERBUND: for instance in Kalsdorf (commissioning planned for 2013), Graz-Puntigam (construction start planned for 2013), as well as Gratkorn (construction start planned for 2013).
"Electricity from hydropower is the most important source of energy in Austria and, out of more than 100 large VERBUND hydropower plants, 40 power plants are located in Styria. With today’s opening of the first joint venture power plant on the Mur, Styria is giving a powerful signal for the expansion of renewable energies," said VERBUND CEO Wolfgang ANZENGRUBER.