Pichlern Run-of-River Power Plant

VERBUND's power plant at Pichlern is a run-of-river plant situated on the river Steyr and in the town of Pichlern in the municipality of Neuzeug in Upper Austria.

History of the Power Plant 

The first hydropower plant in Pichlern started operations in the mid 1920’s with a Francis turbine. The plan for the power plant originated from J.M. Voith in St. Pölten and is dated 28. October 1925. Owners of the plant were the mill owners R. and F. Wochenalt from Pichlern. On 1. July 1969 the "Wochenalt Mill" was purchased by Ennskraftwerke AG (EKW). Counting among the inventory was a mill building and the power house, although it was only the power house with the wooden weir system and the associated water rights that were purchased. 

The power plant was expanded for the utilisation of the two pre-owned hydroelectric generating sets dating back to 1952 and 1954. By way of supplementary construction, an approx. 150-m-long headrace channel and a second turbine house were constructed from January 1970. Commissioning of units II and III took place on 14. September 1970. The positive final report from the Reservoir Commission is dated June 1971. Prior to construction of the new power plant, the old plant was demolished – with the exception of the weir system. This was merely enhanced at several points with bricks from the demolished building components. 

The project from Ennskraftwerke AG (EKW) was submitted in August 2004 and approved by the supervisory board on 24. September 2004; approval in line with water law followed a month later. December 2004 saw the start of construction work. The ecological planning and ecological construction supervision was carried out by the Institute of Ecology in Salzburg; the excavation and construction works were undertaken by Porr-Technobau. Concreting works began in March 2005, followed by assembly of the machinery in September 2005. 

The underwater zone was dug out along a length of 800 m in order to increase the drop height to 5.66 m. Commissioning took place in December 2005; the works were completed in March 2006. The electricity generated was exploited equally by Energie AG and VERBUND-Austrian Hydro Power AG (AHP).

The predecessor: "Wochenalt Mill":

The plan dated 28 October 1925 records an expanded drop height of 2.1 m (later modified to 2.65 m) for a water flow of 8 m³/second. The clockwise running, vertically installed turbine was fitted with a hydraulic control unit. A DC generator produced an output of 12.5 kW; a three-phase generator initially produced an output of 130 kW, which was later increased to 163 kW.
The turbines, manufactured in 1952 and 1954, were Francis turbines with vertical shafts; the generators were driven by a gear mechanism. 

 Technical data:

Owner: Ennskraftwerke AG
Operating company: Ennskraftwerke AG
Beginning of operation: 2005
Type:  Run-of-river
Country, State: Austria, Upper Austria
Waters: Steyr
Capacity: 2,4 MW
Annual generation: 12.961 MWh
Turbines: Kaplan (2)
Fish bypass: yes