VERBUND, Austria's leading electricity provider, helps in crisis situations. Since Friday, Danube power plants have been occupied around the clock, the main focus being on the fast and monitored removal of the water masses. Currently, seven of nine Danube power plants in Austria and Jochenstein power plant have been switched off. The weirs are open in order to facilitate removal of the water from the reservoir area. Continued electricity supply is guaranteed, however, since hydropower plants from the non-affected areas in Austria generate sufficient electricity and thermal power plants are in reserve mode.
As a means of support for the residents suffering from the flood, VERBUND has offered its customers two months of free electricity. Households, farmers and business people who were affected by the current flood, will received two months worth of free electricity (energy price excluding basic price without grid charges, taxes and dues) as a credit towards the next annual bill. VERBUND asks the affected customers to submit an appropriate note of damage taken from the municipal authorities by the end of July 2013 by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to VERBUND AG, Postfach 8400, 1011 Vienna. Further information is available to customers at the free service line 0800 210 210.
Electricity generation cut down, dams stable
The dams in the area of the Danube, inasmuch as they are within the scope of responsibility of VERBUND, are stable. VERBUND employees are occupied around the clock, monitoring the security of the dams and keeping contact with local relief units.
When flood water accumulates, the level beneath a power plant rises. This means that there is no longer a drop height that can be used for the generation of electricity. The water flows through freely, the turbines are switched off. Instead, the water flows across the weir fields and partially also through the opened navigation locks in order to prevent a congestion.
Flood water removal to be conducted in compliance with plant regulations
In the operation of the power plants and weir fields, it is necessary to find a balance between the removal of the water from the reservoir area and the protection of the subjacent reservoir area. In terms of operation, VERBUND complies with authority approved regulations specifying which channels are to be used at which level, with the overall view of the Danube being the decisive factor. Every deviation is to be approved by the "Lebensministerium" (Life Ministry=Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management).