Kaprun Main Stage Storage Power Plant

VERBUND's Kaprun Main Stage power plant is a storage power plant situated in the Kaprun valley in Salzburg. It was constructed from 1938 until 1953.

History of the Power Plant 

The ensemble surrounding the power house of Kaprun upper stage lies at the foot of the Bürgkogel in "Kaprun Winkl" on the left bank of the Ache. A spacious area surrounded by several auxiliary buildings can be accessed by road or, if coming from the right bank of the Ache, via a bridge. After the bridge, a road called Krafthausstraße leads to the main building of the power plant. 

The main building comprises the power house and the adjoining workshops. The auxiliary buildings approximately 200 m to the northeast include a surveying technology building, training facilities for apprentices, vehicle and construction team workshops, garages, storage areas and a locomotive shed. A further garage building is located on the side of the Bürgkogel directly northeast of the main building. The outdoor switching station and operations building of the power plant are situated on the right bank of the Ache at the beginning of Kesselfallstraße. The buildings of the works settlement are located on both sides of the Ache.

Power house with workshop wing:
One longitudinal side of the power house is set into the slope with the result that the 94.3 metre-long, 33.4-metre wide and 25-metre high, flat roofed building is only partially visible from the outside (12 metres in height and 13 metres in width). On the access side, the appearance of the power house is marked by two curved arches made of natural stone: One arch marks the beginning of the tubular rail inclined lift and the second forms the entrance gate at the front side of the power house. The natural stone facing brickwork with ashlar stone work and arch bricks creates a lively relief but also an impressive monumental effect. The horizontal joints emphasis the latitudinal arrangement of the building.

The machine hall, which dominates the other buildings, is ventilated by a row horizontal rectangular openings with slats below the roof edge. The rooms for the transformers and switching units are located in front on the valley side. The generators are ventilated by four high rectangular, slatted openings on the longitudinal side between the transformers. The chambers for supply air for the generator are identical to the chambers for the return air on the mountain side. The interior of the machine hall is 80 metres long, 15.5 metres wide and 15.6 metres high, whereby the floor level of the hall lies below ground level. A rail platform runs from the longitudinal front of the power house on the valley side to the transformer niches. The former control room, which was originally connected to the machine hall via a balcony, is located at the southwest end of the power house. The balcony was later replaced with a glazed gallery. The yellow coated, cylinder-shaped enclosures for the four generators rise to the height of the rail platform and each enclosure is flanked by two bright green turbine enclosures. Together with the blue controller groups, the red floor tiles and the turquoise sound insulation ceiling, they create a very colourful ambience. 

The two-storey workshop wing receives light through narrow, high rectangular windows. Small square-like openings are located above the windows under the roof edge.

Auxiliary buildings
The single and two-storey auxiliary buildings are covered with hipped roofs. Their exterior surfaces are partially rendered and partially finished with facing brickwork. The single-storey building for surveying technology and apprentice training has a fully converted attic with a dense row of hipped dormers. The two-storey storage building comprises a section finished with building stone and a section finished with white rendering. Both sections are united under a hipped roof. A locomotive shed with pillars made of building block is located on the north frontal side. The two double-leaf entrance gates in the frontal wall receive light from the glass areas with steel glazing bars. Crossed struts were integrated into the gable area of the saddle roof.

Operations building
The two-storey, U-shaped operations building is covered with a flat hipped roof. Its flat rendered facade is divided by an angularly profiled cornice and two rows of nearly square windows. The central control station, with a large glazed area that affords a view of the outdoor switching station, is located in the top floor. Two mosaics from Friedrich Inhauser depicting work on the Kaprun power plants are located on the entrance facade. One of the mosaics bears the inscription: "Inhauser 1956".

Maiskogel railway
The Maiskogel railway runs from the power house to the mountain station 1,545 metres above sea level where access can be gained to the valve chamber.

Works settlement
The buildings of the works settlement comprise residential dwellings, houses for community bodies such as the operations building and the kindergarten of Tauernkraftwerke AG, as well as the Barbara Chapel. They are characterised by historical designs that are typical of the local area, such as the projecting saddle roofs, balconies and small window openings.

Transportation of works water
After processing, the water flows through the tailrace channel into the Ache.

Technical data:

Owner: VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH
Operating company: VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH                                 
Beginning of operation: 1953
Type:  Storage
Country, State: Austria, Salzburg
Capacity: 260 MW
Annual generation: 549.455 MWh