Following successful cooperation in constructing the Mur power plants in Gössendorf and Kalsdorf, VERBUND will once again be a partner of Energie Steiermark for the new Mur power plant in Graz-Puntigam. Both companies today announced VERBUND's entry into the power plant company at a level of 12.5%.
Central control station in Pernegg controls and monitors all large Styrian hydropower plants
In continuance of the long-term hydropower partnership, it was agreed that future operations management of the efficient run-of-river power plant should be handled by VERBUND's Styrian power plant group, resulting in additional synergies for the partners.
VERBUND is already operating 19 hydropower plants on the Styrian Mur River. Controlling and monitoring of all 40 VERBUND hydropower plants in Styria takes place in the central control station in Pernegg, south of Bruck an der Mur.
Currently, Styria can only cover just under half its own electricity demand through local production. In order to improve Styria's energy balance and to achieve the climate goals from Paris, the Styrian province's climate and energy strategy stipulates intensified expansion of renewable energy sources. The Mur power plant in Graz was presented to the public already in 2009. In the course of an environmental impact assessment taking a total of four years, environmental experts from the province of Styria and from the Federal Environmental Senate reviewed and analysed all input and concerns from NGO's and local residents – in 2014 the go-ahead was given for the eco-project, and all required legal certifications have been obtained. The hydropower plant, which convinced the boards of both companies particularly with positive economic viability, will supply about 45,000 Graz residents as well as electric cars with CO2-free electricity starting in 2019, and will lead to a sustainable reduction of dependence on electricity imports. In this way, 60,000 tonnes of CO2 will be saved annually. The total investment volume amounts to 80 million euros, and around 90 percent of the contracts will go to domestic companies. During the construction phase, a total of 1800 jobs will be secured in Styria.