Austria utility completes rehabilitation of 12.62-MW Opponitz hydropower project

Vienna utility Wien Energie GmbH has completed rehabilitation of the 90-year-old, 12.62-MW Opponitz hydroelectric project on Austria’s Ybbs River.

Wien Energie carried out 30 million euros (US$38.1 million) in economic and environmental improvements to the small hydro project.

Work included hydraulic steel, earthworks, and a turbine-generator to utilize fish passage flows, expanding the project from 9.58 MW as well as a 3-kilometer tunnel renovation using a relining procedure. A fish ladder was constructed plus a new weir at Gostling to increase the amount of water available to the hydro plant.

The modernized plant increased installed capacity 30 percent, improved fish passage, increased environmental flows in the Ybbs and improved flood protection.

“With the improvements the equipment meets the environmental requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive,” Wien Energy CEO Susana Zapreva said. “It protects the fish habitat in the Ybbs and achieves a higher energy yield.”

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