The VERBUND Innkraftwerke GmbH, operator of the 14 hydropower plants on the Bavarian Inn River, opened the gates and invited the surrounding population to get to know the power plant facility generating electricity from hydropower. From 1pm to 6pm, the power plant was open for visitors, who were informed on-site about VERBUND in Bavaria, electricity from hydropower, the VERBUND Electricity School, as well as about the sought-after VERBUND dual training system. Schechen Mayor Hans Holzmeier and VERBUND Innkraftwerke power plant group head Klaus Schöler greeted approximately 1,500 guests and ceremonially opened the afternoon with the traditional tapping of the beer keg. The event was celebrated with culinary delicacies and numerous attractions for young and old, as well as with tours of the power plant and a barge ride to the new fish pass.
45 years of electricity from hydropower
The open house offered the population living in the surrounding area the one-of-a-kind opportunity to see the power plant from the inside. The tours through the powerhouse and the weir system offered a glimpse into the work and electricity generation of the Feldkirchen power plant. The lesson that electricity doesn't just come out of the outlet but rather rests on the basis of a great deal of technology was received with interest especially by children and teens. Barge rides to the fish pass newly constructed in 2013 rounded out the programme.
Numerous attractions relating to the power plant entertained guests of all ages: The voluntary fire brigades of Griesstätt, Hochstätt and Rott am Inn as well as the "First Responder" first-aid workers and the water rescue and safety service from Rott am Inn introduced themselves. A lottery, barge trips and a varied world of electricity experiences rounded out the entertainment programme.
Bavarian delicacies and brass band music contributed to a cosy atmosphere for around 1,500 guests. Revenues from food and drinks benefited the participating charitable organisations.
The role of hydropower in a sustainable energy system
Electricity from hydropower has many different functions in the energy system. VERBUND is the largest operator of hydropower plants in Bavaria and the second-largest in Germany. VERBUND Innkraftwerke power plant group head Klaus Schöler: "We are very happy to be able to show the power plant from the inside, as well, to those living in the area. The run-of-river power plants in the rivers can be in operation 24 hours a day and so can provide the necessary base load. Water power is CO2-neutral and resource-efficient, reducing dependence on the import of fossil fuels and so making a pivotal contribution toward climate protection."
The facilities on the Bavarian Inn are maintained on par with the state of the technology, and enhancements – such as, for instance, the renovation of the Töging power plant – are strived for. VERBUND pays special attention to flood protection as well as to environmental concerns, as can be seen in the numerous fish ladders in construction and planning. "We feel very connected to the region, and it should stay that way," says Schöler.