Fifty-four months after the groundbreaking ceremony for VERBUND’s Limberg II pumped storage power plant, the synchronisation of the first hydroelectric generation set today, Friday, has produced and fed electricity into the grid for the first time. The successful test marks the completion of the construction works and signals the start of roughly six months of preliminary works for the commissioning of the two new hydroelectric generating sets, comprising the final assembly of the second hydroelectric generating set and numerous operating tests.
"Synchronisation means that the first of the two new hydroelectric generating sets of Limberg II is producing electricity and has fed it into the VERBUND grid for the first time. In the coming six months, we will also complete the assembly of the second unit and put the plant through comprehensive tests. From mid 2011, we want to make precious balance and control energy available as a supplement to wind and solar electricity production, and simultaneously fulfil our role as "green battery" for efficient and sustainable storage," said Karl Heinz Gruber, Technical Director of VERBUND Hydro Power AG.
The construction of the underground pumped storage power plant is expanding the existing power plant in Kaprun from 480 megawatts to a total of 833 megawatts and therewith continuing the electricity generation success story in the rear Kaprun Valley. It is intended that some 10% of the balance and control energy required in Austria will come from Kaprun in future.
An investment of great regional importance
In addition to this contribution to supply security, VERBUND’s commitment to the development of hydropower in Kaprun also has regional importance, as Michael Amerer, commercial director of VERBUND Hydro Power AG, highlights: "Of the total investment of 400 million, some 120 million Euro alone have been spent in the region. Alongside the power plant investment, we have additionally made massive investment in the quality of the site. The new training and central workshops are a direct follow-up investment, without which Limberg II would not have been possible."
VERBUND is obliged to invite tenders for its activities throughout Europe. The fact that it was nevertheless possible to award some 30 % of the investment volume to the local and regional economy is an outstanding testimonial for the domestic industry.
The final commissioning of the Limberg II pumped storage power plant, with a pump and turbine output of 480 megawatts, is envisaged for the 3rd quarter of 2011.
The Limberg III project, which is planned as a next step and is fundamentally a twin plant to Limberg II, has currently been submitted for environmental impact assessment. Nevertheless, it is not possible to realise this project without constructing the Salzburg line right through to Kaprun.
Reisseck II, a VERBUND project that is technically and financially comparable to Limberg II, is currently being developed in Carinthia.