Gries Power Plant: Supervisory boards of VERBUND and Salzburg AG achieve important prerequisite for the implementation of the power plant project

9/29/2015Salzburg, Gries

During the most recent meetings of the supervisory boards of VERBUND and Salzburg AG, fundamental decisions were made with regards to a realisation of the Gries power plant project (in the Bruck an der Großglocknerstraße municipality). The aim is now to work at full speed to meet all the necessary requirements for a start of construction in mid-2016.

VERBUND and Salzburg AG received approval for the construction of the Gries power plant from the EIA authorities in 2013. However, the actual implementation of the project stalled due to difficult economic conditions. Discussions with the municipality about a possible future division of tasks have nevertheless been continued, and further technical project optimisations have been presented to authorities for approval.
The promise recently received from the provincial government of Salzburg to support the Bruck an der Großglocknerstraße municipality in the implementation of measures in the public interest with means from the municipal compensation fund gave the power plant project a fresh boost. Upon the attainment of this agreement with the municipality, requests for proposals for construction works and installation engineering, preparations for filing for funding under the Green Electricity Act and further discussions about possible additional incentives were initiated.
Project Leader Hannes Badura is optimistic: "Even if the environment for investments in domestic and renewable hydropower continues to be difficult due to energy market conditions, we will do everything we can to once again improve the general circumstances for the project. If our preparation work continues to go as planned, and we really achieve our ambitious goals for reducing costs, then I can already look forward to breaking ground in mid-2016."
With a capacity of 8.85 Megawatts and an annual production of 42 million Kilowatt hours of CO2-free electricity from hydropower, the Gries-Salzach power plant will be able to generate electricity for more than 10,000 households, and so contribute toward the attainment of the Salzburg climate and energy goals. The power plant capital expenditure to the tune of € 50 million, along with the investments of around € 20 million in infrastructure and protective structures, sets a valuable economic impulse with a significant domestic added value toward securing positions for qualified workers.