15. July 2011

The Reißeck II pumped storage power station

Download the article from Geomechanics and Tunnelling 02/2011.

Manfred Freitag, Markus Larcher, Andreas Blauhut

The Reißeck II pumped storage power station under construction for the Verbund Hydro Power AG is part of their current extension project in southern Austria. Features of the new system are the advantages of the rapidly available and easily controllable power output of a pumped storage scheme in generation operation and the possibility of storing hydropower water at times of low energy demand.

The upgraded output of 430 MW in generation and pumping operation will achieve an increase of efficiency of the entire plant of up to 40 %. It is advantageous that some essential parts of the existing system (reservoir, tunnel system, infrastructure) can be made use of and will not have to be newly constructed. Starting from the experience of the challenging geological conditions during the construction of the original system, extensive geological investigations were carried out. Both mechanical and conventional tunnelling methods are being used to overcome the height difference of just under 600 m. The wholly underground power station with a tunnel system about 5.3 km long and a powerhouse cavern for two machine sets is planned for full operation in September 2014.