A positive official authorization to go ahead with the new planned power plant on the river Mur in Gratkorn is now a possibility as the decision lies in the court of second instance. The independent environment senate has confirmed the positive environmental outcome from the Styrian authorities on a federal level. Due to the current distortions on the European electricity market, a positive investment decision is to be expected at the earliest in 2015.
"With the positive assessment for the power plant project in Gratkorn, the independent environment senate has confirmed the professional planning and preparations undertaken by the VERBUND project team" says the pleased project leader Arnulf Krampl. The new run-of-river power plant on the Mur river will be located in an industrial centre north of Graz and will generate enough renewable energy for more than 13,000 households. The security of supply will be increased with the power input into the regional network and at the same time, the emission-free hydropower production by the Gratkorn power plant will avoid emitting 44,000 tons of CO2 per year. In its notification, the independent environment senate has confirmed these ecological benefits of the power plant project, which is to be undertaken by VERBUND and Energie Steiermark AG.
Along with an improvement of the flooding protection for the communities in the area, a new bridge over the Mur will be constructed for cyclists, pedestrians and sportspeople as a result of the Gratkorn power plant.
Start of construction of the Gratkorn power plant depends on further development of the electricity market.
VERBUND and Energie Steiermark are committed to further development of hydropower in Styria. The current distortions on the European electricity market means that right now there isn't sufficient investment security in new hydropower plant facilities receiving no feed-on tariff support. A positive investment decision for the Gratkorn power plant on the river Mur is therefore to be expected at the earliest in 2015.