Rabenstein Run-of-River Power Plant

VERBUND's power plant at Rabenstein is a run-of-river plant situated on the river Mur and in the municipality of Frohnleiten in Styria. It was constructed from 1984 until 1987 by Steiermärkische Elektrizitäts-AG.

History of the Power Plant 

The construction of Rabenstein power plant had already been planned during the works on Weinzödl power plant, the experience of which was able to flow into the new project. Following the supervisory board’s 1979 decision to construct the power plant, spring 1980 saw the presentation of a first preliminary study for a further reservoir stage on the Mur in the area of Frohnleiten. This developed into a preliminary project at the end of 1981, once geological and hydrological investigations and a site evaluation had been carried out.

The considerable public resistance to the power plant construction was countered from the side of Steiermärkische Elektrizitäts-AG (STEG) by information campaigns and the deployment of a team of experts, who answered questions from residents and interested parties and processed proposed amendments. A special focus was the embedding in the environment with Rabenstein Castle, the localities of Frohnleiten and Rothleiten, as well as the park with its avenue of linden trees on the left bank of the river. The site originally envisaged for the new power plant, directly on the rocks at Rabenstein Castle, was moved 400 m upstream for reasons of monument conservation.

May1982 saw Steiermärkische Elektrizitäts-AG (STEG) awarding Suiselectra Ingenieurunternehmung AG of Schweizerischen Elektrizitäts- und Verkehrsgesellschaft in Basel with the contract for the preparatory works, development and construction management of Rabenstein power plant. Extensive surveys were compiled for the detailed planning: the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich thus examined the possibility of reservoir sedimentation, and Graz University of Technology conducted a pilot project in 1984 for the examination of flow conditions, the design of stilling basins and turbine inlets. The water law approval for the power plant construction became effective 14 May 1984, followed on 18 August of the same year by approvals in the course of dedication and construction negotiations.

Following the ground-breaking ceremony on 24 October 1984, works began directly below Rabenstein Castle on the left bank of the river. In March 1985, the Mur was diverted into a channel and, in December 1985, the preliminary building works were completed on the weir. This was followed, in March 1986, with the preliminary work on the power house. August 1986 saw the Mur being channelled back; a test run took place in March and April 1987 and finally, on 24. June 1987, the power plant was festively declared open. The manufacturing of concrete and gravel production for the construction site took place entirely on-site. Numerous river bank design and protection measures were undertaken within the framework of the power plant construction. In 2002, the four power plants of Steiermärkischen Elektrizitäts-AG - Lebring, Peggau, Weinzödl und Rabenstein – were incorporated into VERBUND-Austrian Hydro Power AG.

Technical data:

Owner: VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH
Operating company: VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH
Beginning of operation: 1987
Type:  Run-of-river
Country, State: Austria, Styria
Waters: Mur
Capacity: 13.9 MW
Annual generation: 65,981.1 MWh
Turbines: Kaplan (2)
Fish bypass yes