Reisseck II Pumped Storage Power Plant

With the new pumped storage power plant Reisseck II, VERBUND is expanding the Carinthian power plant systems Malta and Reisseck to one of the strongest hydropower plant groups in Europe.

Reisseck II - Austrias most modern pumped storage power plant

High above the Carinthian Mölltal Valley, in the Mühldorfer Rift, can be found what is currently the largest power plant construction site in Austria. For outsiders the construction progress is easy to overlook, because work on the new VERBUND pumped storage power plant Reisseck II is going on deep inside the mountain. With this pumped storage power plant Reisseck II, VERBUND is not only investing in an expansion of renewable energy in Austria; at the same time, along with the power plants Malta and Reisseck, which have been in existence for decades, one of the highest-output hydropower plant groups in all of Europe is being created.

Pumped storage power plants such as Reisseck II are from both an ecological and economical standpoint the most sensible way to counterbalance greatly fluctuating wind and solar electricity generation and thereby to optimise the usability of renewable energy. Since Reisseck II will work along with the already existing storage of the power plant systems Malta and Reisseck/Kreuzeck, interference with nature is limited to the underground pressure tunnel, the machine cavern and the transformer cavern; even the incoming and the outgoing flow will take place below ground.

Following the start of construction in the fall of 2010, within just a few months a rock cavern of considerable size had been hewn out of the mountain. When the new power plant starts operations, two highly efficient pump turbines will be working in this cavern. With these two vertically installed pump turbines, Reisseck II will have a total output of 430 megawatts of generated electricity, both during turbine operation and during pump operation. This means that Reisseck II can collect the electricity simultaneously generated by about 200 wind turbines and therefore can store the fluctuating wind power electricity generation over longer periods.
Like a usual storage power plant, this power station in the mountain will generate peak current for the times of day with the highest demand for electricity, by processing water from the upper reservoir through the two turbines. During hours of low consumption on the other hand, when there is more electricity in the European net than needed, Reisseck II can store this available energy by pumping water from the lower reservoir into the upper reservoir. This double function will make the power plant Reisseck II into a "green battery" in the middle of the Alps.
As many as 250 highly specialised technicians are currently working on the construction and installation of VERBUND's newest pumped storage power plant. The total investment of around 400 million Euro, borne together with our partners Kelag and Energie AG Upper Austria, is not only creating supra-regional value, but also delivering concrete impetus for the local Carinthian economy. The "green battery" Reisseck II will be commissioned in 2016.

Project area: power plant group Malta-Reisseck

Project area for pumped storage Reisseck 2
Overview of the pumped storage network Malta-Reisseck with the project Reisseck 2

Reisseck 2: power plant cavern

Pumped storage plant Reisseck 2: power plant cavern
Underground power plant cavern for the pumped storage turbine