EIB agrees loan for Austrian hydro

8 July 2014

Silvretta reservoir

Illwerke is receiving a €280 million loan from the European Investment Bank to support the development of its Obervermuntwerk II pumped storage power plant in Austria's Vorarlberg region. The investment will add balancing capacity to the German power system and contribute to security of supply.

The loan, agreed 3 July will also finance construction of a 13 MW hydropower plant, Rellswerk and reinforcement of the Bürs substation. Completion of all three projects is scheduled for 2018.

The 360 MW Obervermuntwerk II project is to be built at an altitude of around 1700 m between the Silvretta and the Vermunt reservoirs. Voith Hydro is supplying two 170 MW storage pumps and hydraulic torque converter for the project. Alstom is supplying two 180 MW generators and exciters.

Obervermuntwerk II is designed to reduce network losses, add balancing capacity to the network and provide additional regulating energy, EIB says. When surplus energy in the network endangers the security of supply, water will be pumped (approx 300 m) up to the Silvretta reservoir, making it possible to react to demand peaks arising from consumption as well as renewable generation.

"Obervermuntwerk II will play a key role in generating environmentally friendly power - and not only for the Federal State of Vorarlberg. It will also make an important contribution to ensuring the stability and reliability of the whole European power grid," commented EIB vice-president Wilhelm Molterer

Photo: Silvretta reservoir (Source: Vorarlberger Illwerke )



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