Open House at VERBUND's Inn power plant of Gars

7/1/2013Gars am Inn

VERBUND shows the inside of the hydropower plant and power unit to the public

On 29 June, 2013, VERBUND, Austria's leading electricity company and operator of the Bavarian Inn power plants, extended an invitation to citizens from the surrounding area to an open house. Norbert Strahllechner, mayor of Gars am Inn, group manager of VERBUND Innkraftwerke GmbH Klaus Schöler and Franz Mandl, project manager of the Gars power unit project, welcomed the approx. 2,500 visitors and solemnly opened the celebration with a tapping of the beer barrel.

Over 60 years of clean electricity from hydropower
The open house offered the unique opportunity to the population living within the vicinity of the power plant to see this building from the inside as well. Whilst touring the power house and weir, the visitors, amongst them numerous children and youths, convinced themselves that outlet does not just come out of the power outlet. 

Numerous attractions surrounding the VERBUND power plant kept guests of all ages entertained: a raffle, test rides with e-bikes, e-scooters and e-cars and a varied children's programme rounded off the entertainment. There was even the possibility of seeing how long one had to tread in order to bring a light bulb to give off light. Food and drink, as well as the local brass band, contributed to a pleasant atmosphere with the approx. 2,500 visitors. The proceeds from the food and beverages went towards emergency relief organisations.

Gars power plant
The power plant of Gars, together with the plants of Teufelsbruck and Wasserburg, was one of the first run-of-river power plants to be built on the Inn river with adjoining power house and weir. The power house was constructed from 1936 until 1938.

The power plant consists of four weir fields, measuring a width of 17 m each. The five generator sets are protected on the power house with round removable caps. Per year, the five turbines produce electricity for approx. 43,186 households, and environmentally friendly at that: Compared to a modern hard coal-fired power plant, the hydropower plant saves approx. 126 million tons in COduring power production.

The Gars power unit
With the new construction of the new Gars power unit, consisting of a Kaplan turbine, VERBUND increases the Inn power plant group, thus investing in the expansion of Bavarian hydropower. With an additional generation of 13.7 million kilowatt hours and an investment volume of some 20 million euro, the new power unit will also supply a further 3,400 households with electricity from renewable hydropower. With that, an annual amount of approx. 11,000 tons of CO2 can be prevented annually, compared to a modern hard coal-fired power plant.

Energy and environment
Within the course of the new construction, a number of ecological side measures were initiated: restructuring of the Nasenbach stream, backwater desedimentation of the surrounding wetland areas, better fish spawning grounds and new habitats for the flora and fauna. In autumn 2013, a bypass channel is planned on the left river bank for ecological accessibility, which is known as a fish migration path or fish ladder.

On average, 210 tons of floating debris are fished out the reservoir area of Gars annually. A screening machine takes care of the removal of driftwood, plastic bottles, footballs, tyres, bikes, and much more.

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