Swiss utility opening Gondo’s doors to the public following turbine overhaul

Swiss utility Energie Electrique du Simplon SA is opening the doors to its Gondo project to commemorate the completion of a three-unit overhaul.

Energie Electrique du Simplon (EES) began the work in 2012, which included the rehabilitation of two turbine groups and the complete replacement of one group. The project raises Gondo’s cumulative output by about 12 MW, giving the facility a new capacity of 57 MW.

In addition to upgrading the generating equipment, EES also installed new control units and governors that allow the facility to be operated from a centralized location in nearby Lausanne.

“The modernization has also increased the flexibility of the power plant, which can now also supply primary control power and reactive power to the national grid operator, Swissgrid,” said utility Alpiq, which holds an 82% majority in EES. “Thus, the power plant also contributes towards regulating the electricity grid and ensuring Switzerland’s security of supply.”

The US$22.8 million project was paid by EES shareholders Alpiq, EnAlpin, EnBAG, FMV and others.

To celebrate the completion of the work, Gondo is holding an open house on Saturday, September 16, beginning at 11 am local time.

Gondo is located near Lake Sera in the Zwischbergental Valley. The plant was put into operation in 1952 and is part of a complex that also includes the Gabi and Tannuwald hydropower plants.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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