New hydropower plant "Reißeck II " planned for Carinthia


"The new hydropower plant in Upper Carinthia will not only be a source for new energy in Carinthia, it will also have a significant economic impact on the region. The investment volume will be around 215 million Euro; in terms of employment this will mean 3,000 years of person-years," says Hans Haider, General Director of VERBUND AG.

"The power plant will bring about a sustainable improvement in the power supply in Austria at peak consumption times from 2014 onwards", Hans Haider explained on the occasion of the launch of the Reisseck II power plant project on 30 March 2007.

The new peak-load power plant will be planned and constructed by the VERBUND hydropower subsidiary VERBUND-Austrian Hydro Power AG (AHP). AHP boss Herbert Schröfelbauer at the press conference in Klagenfurt on 30 March: "The new pumped storage power plant is an important expansion of the existing power plant group Reisseck/Kreuzeck."

The Reisseck/Kreuzeck power plant group in Upper Carinthia was completed 46 years ago. Notable expansion measures have, however, been implemented at the plants since 1961. Schröfelbauer continues: "The demand for control and balancing energy - not least due to the rapid wind power expansion – has grown enormously."

One special feature of the new Reisseck II project is that the existing storage and equalizing basins with an altitude difference of 580 meters will be used. Schröfelbauer: "We will use this natural fall to achieve an additional output of 350 MW."

A five-kilometre subterranean connecting tunnel will be constructed between the annual storage reservoir of Reisseck and the main stage of the Malta power plant. The existing Grosser Mühldorfer See reservoir on the Reisseck lake plateau will be used as an upper basin in pump operation and the Gösskar and Galgenbichl reservoirs of the Malta power plant group will serve as lower basins.

AHP Managing Director Michael Amerer emphasized that the fauna and flora would be preserved to the greatest extent possible and that the new power plant would blend in perfectly with the landscape on completion.. The works water tunnels and the power plant caverns with a 350 MW machine unit are all underground and are not visible from the outside. Amerer: "All the necessary construction measures will be carried out in an environmentally compatible manner."

The project will also undergo an EIA process. The Environmental Impact Declaration should be submitted by mid-2008 and, if completed according to schedule, the power plant will deliver electricity from 2014 onwards.