Completion of the modernisation of the Danube power plant Ybbs-Persenbeug

07.10.2022Ybbs, Persenbeug-Gottsdorf

After a comprehensive overhaul, the oldest Danube power plant Ybbs-Persenbeug will in future cover the annual electricity need of 400,000 households.

Revitalisation at Ybbs-Persenbeug: all new at Austria’s oldest Danube power plant

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With the initial operation of the new Machine No. 1, one of the most important overhaul projects in the field of Austrian hydropower was completed today. In the oldest Danube power plant at Ybbs-Persenbeug, all six of the turbines and generators from the 1950s were replaced with modern, highly efficient machine sets over the past eight years. VERBUND invested a hundred million euros in the Danube power plant, which in future will supply Austria with about 1.4 billion kilowatt hours of renewable electricity from hydropower.

“Today underscores Lower Austria’s position as the province of renewable energy,” said the Second President of the Lower Austrian Landtag, Karl Moser, representing Provincial Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner at today’s festive commissioning of the new Machine No. 1 in the Danube power plant Ybbs-Persenbeug: “What previous generations created in Ybbs, the operators have maintained and unbelievably improved with great effort. In the fight against the energy crisis, every additional kilowatt hour counts, and Ybbs-Persenbeug delivers millions of them. We thank everyone involved in the project and wish renewable energy good luck!” 

More renewable electricity following installation of the newest turbines and generators

Following completion of the comprehensive overall, the Danube power plant Ybbs-Persenbeug generates much more renewable electricity: “The renovation project successfully implemented here is a prime example of our fight against the climate crisis,” says Achim Kaspar, member of the Executive Board of VERBUND responsible for generation, digitalisation and sustainability.
“The sum of many measures large and small is making it possible to generate additional, carbon-free energy at our existing plants. The additional electricity generated here at this location corresponds to the annual production of an average, medium-sized run-of-river power plant in Austria! In this way, the Ybbs-Persenbeug power plant will, after the historic achievement during the time of post-war reconstruction, once again become a symbol for generations: as an important element of our clean, domestic and renewable energy future,” said VERBUND COO Achim Kaspar.

Hydropower is the mainstay of the energy transition

Michael Amerer, managing director of VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH, explains the importance of the overhaul: “By investing a hundred million euros, we are creating sustainable values. Hydropower, the most reliable of all forms of renewable energy, is the mainstay of the power supply in Austria, which additionally supports the use of volatile forms of generation with the necessary grid security. Together with the two ongoing overhauls in Ottensheim-Wilhering and Wallsee-Mitterkirchen, the renovation project here at this location is another important step towards greater security of supply.”
 “The performance of our own employees in this renovation project makes us especially proud. Here at the Ybbs-Persenbeug power plant, we have been able to complete the complex replacement of machines, electrical equipment and control systems in grand style with our own experts. The knowledge we have gained for improving efficiency here is of incalculable value for other projects. Because we are gradually investigating all our plants for further generation potential and leveraging these where economically viable,” says Karl Heinz Gruber, managing director of VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH. “In this way, we are doing our part to achieve the expansion targets for hydropower.” 

Sustainable electricity from domestic hydropower for the coming generations

The construction of the Ybbs-Persenbeug power plant was one of the pioneering projects of reconstruction in Austria after the Second World War. With an investment amounting to a hundred million euros, all six of the power plant’s machine sets from the 1950s were renewed, thereby increasing generation by more than 77 million kilowatt hours (kWh) to a total of 1.4 billion kWh and further improving reliability. The achieved efficiency increase of 6% corresponds to the annual electricity consumption of 22,000 households and an annual saving of 62,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. And all without having to make structural interventions in the surrounding area.

In addition to the efficiency increase, measures to improve habitats along the Danube were implemented in recent years around the Ybbs-Persenbeug power plant as part of the LIFE project “Network Danube”. Further ecological measures that will go even further than this will be realised in the coming years as part of the EU LIFE project “Blue Belt Danube-Inn”. These will also include a modern organism migration aid, so that fish and other forms of aquatic life can bypass the Danube power plant.


Portrait Florian Seidl Florian Seidl

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