Turbine cleaning in Greifenstein
In order to continue generating electricity reliably from hydropower, a Danube turbine has to be shut down for inspection every nine years. This presents a rare opportunity to actually be able to walk on a 6.5 metre impeller. Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner, accompanied by the new VERBUND executive board members Michael Strugl and Achim Kaspar, used her visit to Greifenstein to take a look at the enormous green electricity machine.
State Governor Mikl-Leitner is visibly impressed by the technology, which is hidden 20 meters underneath the Danube. “Hydropower significantly contributes to supplying Lower Austria with renewable energy. We can be proud of the sustainable electricity from the region.”
Michael Strugl, vice chairman of the Board of VERBUND, emphasized the important role hydropower plays. “The energy transition can only succeed if we use all renewable resources. VERBUND now almost exclusively generates electricity from water and wind, but we still have a lot of work to do in implementing our climate goals.”
Achim Kaspar, member of the Executive Board responsible for electricity generation at VERBUND said, “Especially here in Greifenstein are we able to show how beautifully in harmony hydropower and nature are. We are currently seeing that even our high-endurance machines using well-established technology are in need of a pit stop. In the course of a two-month shutdown, one machine set was put back in shape for the next few years.
The floodplain near Greifenstein, the “Gießgang”, was placed under nature conservation years after the power plant was built. In the last year, the power plant was retrofitted with a near-natural fish bypass. The first year of operation showed that species diversity and fish abundance exceeded expectations.
Clean electricity for Lower Austria
The Danube power plant Greifenstein near Stockerau generates 1.7 billion kilowatt hours annually – that is electricity for 480,000 households from sustainable hydropower. VERBUND has a total of 280 employees in Lower Austria. VERBUND invests more than 16 million euros annually in Lower Austria for maintenance and operational investments.