Located high above the Mölltal valley in Carinthia, construction of the latest pumped storage plant by VERBUND is nearing completion. After the ground-breaking ceremony in late 2010, the excavation of the machine and transformer caverns, the delivery of the power plant components weighing up to 200 tonnes, as well as the construction of several kilometres of water works channels in the mountain, the installation of the two pump turbine units at Reißeck II has now been completed. Over the next weeks, the new power plant will gradually be put into operation.
For the first time ever, water will be conveyed onto the turbines via several kilometres of subterranean water works channels. To start off the "wet operation", the power descent, which is plated with steel pipes, was already successfully put through an endurance test with a water column pressure of up to 1000 metres. The concluding phase before Reißeck II goes operational follows a precisely defined procedure and serves to test and adjust all power plant components.
The delayed removal of the old pressure pipeline means limitations for tourism
With the new pumped storage plant Reißeck II, the two power plant systems Reißeck and Malta, which were previously hydraulically separate, are now being linked, thus creating one of Europe's largest hydropower plant groups with a turbine output of over 1400 megawatts. Reißeck II alone, with its two pump turbines with a total capacity of 430 megawatts, can store (pump operation) or provide (turbine operation) the electricity output of around 200 wind turbines at the touch of a button.
During the "wet operation" phase lasting several months, the sealing work on the concrete surface will also take place, as well as concrete injections at certain points in the area of the 2.7-kilometre horizontal headrace gallery to the Großer Mühldorfer See lake. In order to avoid delays in the operational process, VERBUND will keep the old, parallel pressure pipeline from Reißeck I running during this phase for longer than initially planned. The removal of the old pipeline is therefore also delayed, which means tourism on the Reißeck mountain will be limited to the mountain station of the inclined lift at the Schoberboden this upcoming summer season. The planned bus connection from Schoberboden to the lake plateau requires the expansion of the existing tunnel, which can only take place once the old pressure pipeline that runs through the tunnel has been removed. To make up for these limitations, VERBUND will be offering a programme for the tourism sector in the Schoberboden area at an altitude of 2,200 metres. The season will kick off on 30 May 2015 with the traditional Ankle-Biter Run ("Wadlbeißer Lauf").