Tunnel Excavation Works at Reisseck II Plant Making Fast Progress

2/10/2011Reisseck/Mühldorf, Carinthia

Beate Prettner, provincial energy councillor of Carinthia, visits the site to confirm the rapid progress of construction works.

Provincial Government Minister Ignites Explosive Charge
Miners have tunnelled through to 1,500 metres (out of a total of 8,150 metres) in Mühldorf Graben. Accompanied by technical board member of VERBUND Hydro Power AG, Karl Heinz Gruber, Beate Prettner was able to take matters into her own hands: the provincial government minister responsible for the environment and energy personally ignited a 100-kilo explosive charge to facilitate the tunnel excavation.

250 Workers in the Möll Valley
The subterranean heart of the pumped storage power plant – the engine chamber – will be roughly the size of Gurk Cathedral and is scheduled for completion at the start of 2012. The boring machine for the tunnelling of the headrace tunnel will be delivered in June. 80 specialists are currently employed at the large construction site. The army will swell the workforce to 250 by the middle of the year.

The Strongest Power Plant Group in Europe
With a turbine capacity of 430 megawatts, which corresponds to the connection power of 30,000 households or 200 wind turbines, Reisseck II will increase the total capacity of the VERBUND Malta/Reisseck power plant group by more than 40 % to 1,459 megawatts. Malta/Reisseck will therewith become one of Europe's mightiest power plant groups to generate environmentally electricity from renewable hydropower.

A Green Battery for Renewable Energies
An important characteristic of the plant is its role as a "green battery": during periods of low consumption, the electricity generated in wind power plants, for example, can be used for the pump operation, whereby water from the lower reservoirs is elevated into the upper reservoir. If conventional power plants are unable to supply sufficient amounts of electricity required during periods of peak consumption, the energy stored in the turbine operation of Reisseck II is then made available. With the pan-European expansion of wind energy, this model will become increasingly important for international grid stability. However, a prerequisite for this are powerful transmission lines.