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Major Pumped-storage Power Plant Commissioned

Published: October 11, 2011; 16:07 · (Vindobona)

Austrian Verbund invested € 405m invested in expansion of hydro power. The construction ofa new hydro power plant in the Austrian Alps has been finished.

Major Pumped-storage Power Plant Commissioned / Picture: © Vindobona.org

Austria's position as the green battery of Europe has today been further strengthened, the Austrian energy group Verbund states. The pumped-storage power plant Limberg II was commissioned following an investment of € 405m and a construction period of just five years. With immediate effect, the power plant will supply valuable balancing and control energy and will also increase the utilisation of unpredictable wind and solar energy.

As of today, a new chapter has been added to the history of hydropower from Kaprun. The pumped-storage power plant Limberg II, most of which lies underground, was commissioned within the framework of an official opening ceremony. In the course of the celebrations, Wolfgang Anzengruber, Chairman of the Managing Board of Verbund, emphasised the significance of construction projects of this nature: "Renewable energies are a central focus throughout Europe – with the pumped-storage power plant Limberg II, we are showing what the Austrian contribution to Europe's energy future can look like."

Karl Heinz Gruber, Member of the Managing Board of Verbund Hydro Power AG, comments on the operational capacity of the power plant Limberg II: "The latest hydropower technology is employed in Kaprun. The pumped-storage power plant Limberg II uses the existing reservoir and optimally supplements the existing plants. As of today, the turbine capacity will increase from 353 MW to 833 MW. The capacity during pump operation will increase from 130 MW to 610 MW." Gruber quotes the following example to illustrate what can be accomplished with modern hydropower technology: "The two turbines can handle 144 m³ of water per second. This is more or less equivalent to the average flow of the Salzach at Golling. Alternatively, this volume of water is sufficient to fill 900 bathtubs per second."

Michael Amerer, Commercial Director of Verbund Hydro Power AG commented as follows on the significance of Limberg II in terms of regional value added: " Limberg II is – also considering the Tauern Tunnel – the largest infrastructure project in recent years. We invested more than € 400m in Kaprun. We are especially grateful for the good cooperation with local industry and businesses. In the course of our projects, approx 30 percent of the project volume was awarded to companies located directly within the project region. In the case of Limberg II, this came to approx. € 120 million. And we are keen to invest further in Kaprun and Salzburg. The gap in the 380-kV ring must, however, first be closed prior to the construction of Limberg III."

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