Altenwörth Power Plant on the Danube

The VERBUND power plant Altenwörth is the most powerful power plant on the Danube and is located in the municipality of Zwentendorf and Kirchberg am Wagram. The mouth of the Traisen there has been completely redesigned and is Austria’s biggest land restoration area. In the coming years, the power plant will be equipped with Lower Austria’s longest fish pass.

Man in the kitchen

467,382 households

supplies the power plant Altenwörth

1,588,380 fewer tonnes of CO2*

Fish bypass

Austria's largest renaturation project completed in 2016


The most powerful of all Danube power plants

Source: ENTSO-E Production 2017

Lower Austria's longest fish pass

The Danube power plant Altenwörth is barrier-free thanks to Lower Austria’s longest fish pass. As the power plant’s operator, VEBUND is additionally improving the bathing quality of the side arm of the Danube at Altenwörth in cooperation with the market municipality of Kirchberg am Wagram. Together with fish-friendly measures in the area of the “Gießgang” in the headwaters of the Greifenstein power plant, the project “LIFE+ Network Danube Plus” is thus being created.
More about LIFE+ Network Danube Plus

New wetland landscape at the Traisen estuary

After three years under construction, Austria’s biggest land restoration project was completed in 2016 under the title “EU-LIFE+ Traisen”. The estuary area of the Traisen straightened during construction of the power plant was removed and converted into a diverse floodplain landscape over a length of 9.4 km. Overall, new habitat for rare species was created on 160 hectares.
More about LIFE+ Traisen
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Image from the Location

Owner VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH
Operator VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH
Commissioning 1976
Type Run-of-river power plant
Country Austria
Region Lower Austria
Waters Danube
Output 328 MW
Annual output 2,004,196 MWh
Turbine Kaplan
Connectivity Fish bypass is in the planning process
Aerial image of the new course of the Traisen river with meanders


LIFE+Traisen project
The Danube power plant Altenwörth is barrier-free thanks to Lower Austria’s longest fish bypass. As the operator of the power plant, VEBUND is additionally improving the bathing quality of the old course of the Danube at Altenwörth in cooperation with the market municipality of Kirchberg am Wagram. The fish bypass connects land restoration projects on the Danube and its tributaries, thereby boosting the diversity of species in the Danube. Construction of the fish bypass will start in autumn 2019 and should be completed in 2021.

Historical information
During construction of the Altenwörth power plant in the 1970s, the confluences of the rivers Kamp, Traisen and Krems were realigned and straightened. In particular, the Traisen, one of Lower Austria’s biggest rivers, was extended by 7.5 km to flow into the Danube downstream of the power plant. The riverbed has since run in an even, straight line through the floodplain between Traismauer and Zwentendorf. This section of river offered little habitat for typical animals and plants and was not connected to the surrounding landscape or the bodies of water in the floodplain. The ability of fish to pass through the area was complicated by obstacles and in some places impossible. 
After three years under construction, the biggest land restoration project “EU-LIFE+ Traisen” was completed in 2016. The goal was to redesign the course of the river and to connect the new Traisen with surrounding bodies of water and the floodplain landscape. A lively new floodplain landscape was created in the lower reaches of the Traisen between Traismauer and Zwentendorf. The ecological upgrade of the habitat will significantly improve the variety of species in this part of the Natura2000 region of Tullnerfelder Au.

More about the LIFE+ Traisen project
Turbines and generators: The powerhouse is equipped with nine 39,000 kW bulb turbine sets. With an impeller diameter of 6 metres and four blades, the turbines are amongst the bigger ones on the Danube.

Transformers: The plant has three 135,000 kVA block transformers for raising the voltage from 7.75 kV to 235 kV.

Weir system: The barriers for the weir system comprise six 24 metre-wide pressure segments with weir gates, which were installed in sections due to their size. 
The Altenwörth power plant was built between 1973 and 1976, and was jointly financed by Energie AG Oberösterreich, Salzburg AG and VKW.