More power for Graz: Mur river power plant in Weinzödl is again connected to the grid
Modernisation of the 30-year-old power plant yields 20% more environmentally-friendly electricity
The Graz Mur river power plant in Weinzödl has been comprehensively modernised over a span of two years. With new turbines and generators, the water power plant is being reconnected to the grid today. Through the incorporation of the newest technology, the annual electricity consumption of 22,000 Graz households can now be generated in Graz Weinzödl. VERBUND invested more than 20 million euros in the modernisation of the 30-year-old power plant.
The Mur river power plant in Weinzödl opened for operation in 1982 and today is still the only high-output hydropower plant in the Graz municipal area. After more than 30 years in operation, the power plant was comprehensively modernised, gaining two new Kaplan bulb turbines as well as generators optimised for performance. The rotor alone of a new turbine weighs 15 tons and has a diameter of just under 4 metres. In order to be able to hoist the Kaplan turbines and generators to their designated positions with a heavy-duty crane, the working areas first had to be dammed and drained to a water level 15 metres lower than that of the Mur.
During operation, up to 95,000 litres of Mur water flow onto the turbine, propelling the generator via a shaft at a rate of 150 rotations per minute.
High efficiency: new technology generates 20% more electricity
As the largest power plant operator in Styria, VERBUND has invested more than 20 million euros in the modernisation of the Graz Weinzödl power plant. The new turbines and generators will increase the electricity generated in Weinzödl by a formidable 20 percent without undertaking any changes to the outside of the facility or in the reservoir area. Although no additional water will be used, as of now the new turbines will generate enough additional electricity for around 4,000 households thanks to technological developments. The Graz hydropower plant in Weinzödl will cover the annual electricity demand of about 22,000 Graz households.
In connection with the modernisation of the machinery, in the coming months VERBUND will also construct a fish ladder at the Weinzödl power plant. The new bypass channel will be located in the area of the right bank of the Mur, allowing fish and other aquatic creatures to swim around the power plant.
VERBUND operates the 42 large hydropower plants located in Styria from its central control station in Pernegg. The control centre is staffed around the clock and watches over large storage power plants such as Hieflau or Sölk, as well as the run-of-the-river power plants on the Mur and the Enns.