New “Pickerl” (sticker) for Lower Austria’s biggest green electricity machine

19.11.2018Kirchberg am Wagram, Zwentendorf

Every good system needs an inspection from time to time. What the “Pickerl” is for cars, the inspection is for the Kaplan turbines on the Danube. A turbine has to be inspected every 9 years. It provides the rare opportunity of being able to see the mighty green electricity machines up close.

One of the 9 Kaplan turbines at the Danube power plant Altenwörth measures an impressive 6.5 metres in diameter. Altenwörth is thus the most powerful run-of-river power plant in Austria. Stephan Pernkopf, deputy governor, and Michael Amerer, member of the management board of VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH, took a close look at the turbine deep below the Danube.

"Nowhere else do you get such a great sense of the power of water as you do inside a power plant. We are proud to be able to supply 20% of Austria's entire electricity requirement with our plants on the Danube alone. Thanks to our excellent personnel and careful maintenance, we are also enabling a sustainable energy supply for future generations," says Michael Amerer.

Deputy governor Stephan Pernkopf was impressed by the plant's dimensions. "Hydropower is a reliable source of energy and plays a major role in the fact that Lower Austria, as a model state for the energy revolution, can already cover 100% of its electricity requirements from renewable energy sources." 

Clean electricity from hydropower for 570,000 households

A single turbine has a capacity of 38,000 kilowatts. Every second, 300,000 litres of Danube water shoot through the armoured pipe. Despite its diameter of 6.5 metres, the impeller runs just millimetres from the inside of the steel water pipe. Such precision requires regular maintenance. To this end, personnel are brought together from across the entire power plant group. Overall, VERBUND invests 24 million euros each year in Lower Austria alone in the operation and maintenance of the power plants. 

Altenwörth fish bypass: Start of construction planned for autumn 2019

The project comprising a fish bypass for the Altenwörth power plant and improvements to the old course of the river is currently at the approval stage. Based on the arrangements at Greifenstein, a near-natural bypass stream will be created on the left bank of the Danube. Bank structures and a natural water filter should increase the quality of the old course of the river for residents, bathers and anglers.

More about the power plant:



Portrait Florian Seidl Florian Seidl

Spokesperson Region East

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