Paternion Run-of-River Power Plant

VERBUND's Paternion power plant is a run-of-river power plant on the Drava River, north of the town of Paternion in Carinthia.

The Paternion power plant was built between 1985 and 1988. It is powered by two Kaplan turbines and generates approximately 89 GWh of electricity from 100% hydropower annually. The power plant has been equipped with a fish bypass 2016.

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Owner VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH
Operator VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH
Commissioning 1988
Type Run-of-river power plant
Country Austria
Region Carinthia
Waters Drava
Output 24 MW
Annual output 89,363 MWh
Turbine Kaplan
Connectivity Fish bypass
Environmental protection at VERBUND

The two new fish bypasses in Paternion and Kellerberg, which were completed in 2016, combined with the fish bypasses already installed at the VERBUND power plants in Villach and Rosegg, have made it possible for fish to swim along the Drava again over a distance of 135 kilometres for the first time in decades. The fish bypasses on the Drava are particularly important for medium-range migratory species such as the nase and the barbel, which carry out extensive spawning migrations upstream. The Danube salmon, the largest fish species (up to one metre in length), is also benefiting from the ecological measures.

The fish bypass at Paternion power plant: The height difference at the power plant of 9.2 metres is overcome with a combination of near-natural pond pass and a typical bypass channel with exit structure. The connection in the tailwater is made via a pond pass with 22 ponds of different sizes in order to achieve a near-natural design. 

The functionality of the fish bypasses on the Drava is continuously monitored. This is supported by a video monitoring system – the so-called FishCam – developed jointly with the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences. The migrating fish are captured visually, identified and subsequently recorded in a database and professionally evaluated.

Responsible treatment of the environment
Turbines and generators: Two vertical Kaplan turbines, built in 1988, are directly coupled to three-phase synchronous generators. The four-bladed turbines with a diameter of 4.8 metres and an output of 12.3 MW each can generate a total of 90 GWh of electricity per year.

Weir system: The three weir fields, each 16 metres wide, are closed with weir gates. 

The Paternion run-of-river power plant was built between 1985 and 1988 and co-financed by KELAG.