Slovenian Prime Minister Anton Rop laid the foundation stone marking the start of construction of the 175-MW Avce pumped-storage project being built at Kanal, Slovenia. The project is being developed on the Soca River by Slovenian utility Slovenske Elektrarne and its subsidiary Soske Elektrarne Nova Gorica d.o.o. (SENG).
“The first pumped-storage hydropower plant in Slovenia, which will be built over the next four years at Kanalski vrh, will generate electricity when we need it most,” SENG General Manager Vladimir Gabrijelcic said at the June 22 ceremony. “PSHP Avce, however, is also a huge investment in know-how and an important milestone on the development of the profession in Slovenia.”
The project will allow Slovenia to use its nighttime electricity surplus, that otherwise is exported at low prices, to pump water into Avce’s upper reservoir for release through turbines during the day for generation when electricity prices are high.
The European Investment Bank approved a 43 million euro (US$51 million) loan for construction and operation of the project, the bank’s first financing in Slovenia’s energy sector. Soske Elektrarne previously named the Slovenia consortium of Primorje d.d Ajdovscina and SCT Ljubljana to perform civil construction of Avce and a consortium of Melco, Rudis, and Sumitomo to supply pump-turbine and motor-generator equipment.
Slovenske Elektrarne commissions 31.4-MW Bostanj
Slovenian officials formally commissioned the 31.4-MW Bostanj hydroelectric project in May. The first of Bostanj’s three turbine-generators was synchronized to the grid in November.
The run-of-river plant is the first in a chain of five new hydropower plants being built by Slovenske Elektrarne on the Lower Sava River. In addition to generating power, Bostanj already has improved flood protection in the region.