The plant is located in parallel to the existing Obervermuntwerk plant, which has been operating since 1943
Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW) has inaugurated the 360MW Obervermunt II pumped storage plant, located in Vorarlberg, Austria.
The pumped storage system is developed by Austria’s state-owned energy supplier Vorarlberger Illwerke (VIW), in partnership with EnBW.
Built at a cost of €500m (£445m), the construction of the pumped storage system began in May 2014. The plant is located in parallel to the existing Obervermuntwerk plant, which has been operating since 1943.
Obervermunt II is located at an altitude of 1,700m above sea level
The pumped storage system is located at an altitude of 1,700m above sea level and includes an underground cavern powerhouse. The project will use the existing water from the Silvretta and the Vermunt (located 300m below Silvretta) reservoirs to generating energy. By using the difference in elevation between the upper (Silvretta) and lower (Vermunt) water reservoirs, electricity will be generated.
The project is powered by two turbines and two pumps, with a total output of 360MW.
As per the German company, pumped storage is claimed to be the only established technology that allows for a cost-effective storage of significant amounts of energy, from renewable sources.
With Obervermuntwerk II, the Rellswerk plant, a smaller facility which was commissioned in 2017 and the 525MW Kopswerk II plant, the two companies have jointly carried out three pumped storage projects over the past ten years in Austria.
EnBW chief technical officer Hans-Josef Zimmer said: “Together with our partner of many years we are happy about the successful completion of the project. Given the significance of storage technologies for system stability and security of supply, they will continue to be an integral part of the energy supply in Europe in the future. This applies to pumped storage power plants as well as, increasingly, the new storage technologies.
“With Obervermunt II we are once again considerably expanding our pumped storage capacities and can now store even more electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar energy. This is another important step for us towards making the Energiewende a reality.”