General Electric (GE) Renewable Energy is supplying two variable speed pumped storage turbines and generators for the project. Image courtesy of General Electric Renewable Energy.
Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB) is the developer of the 170MW Tauernmoos pumped-storage hydro power project. Image courtesy of ÖBB.
The Tauernmoos pumped storage hydro power project is located in the Uttendorf municipality in Austria. Image courtesy of ÖBB.

The Tauernmoos hydropower project is a 170MW pumped-storage hydroelectric facility being developed in Salzburg, Austria.

Austrian National Railway Company Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB) is building this facility with an estimated investment of approximately £268m (€300m).

The environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the Tauernmoos pumped storage hydropower project was approved by the Salzburg provincial government in 2012 and was later amended and approved in October 2018.

While the construction works on the project were started in November 2020 with the plant commissioning expected by 2026.

The Tauernmoos pumped-storage facility is expected to generate up to 460GWh of electricity a year.

Location and site details

The Tauernmoos pumped-storage hydropower project is located in the middle of the Hohe Tauern National Park, in the Stubachtal Valley, Uttendorf, Salzburg, Austria.

Tauernmoos pumped-storage facility make-up

The Tauernmoos pumped-storage hydropower plant will be equipped with two 85MW variable speed pumped storage units for a net power output of 170MW. The variable speed turbine technology will facilitate the quick start and stop of the system and fast changeover between turbine and pump mode.

The underground powerhouse cavern will measure 73m-long, 25m-wide, and 40m-high, and accommodate the key mechanical and electrical equipment. The underground cavern is divided into a powerhouse cavern and a transformer cavern.

The plant will be designed to consume 80m3 of water per second in turbine mode and send back 70m3 of water per second for storage in pumping operation.

The pumped-storage facility will utilise two existing high-alpine reservoirs, namely Tauernmoossee (upper basin) and Weißsee (lower basin) that are located at an elevation difference of 220m from each other. Both the reservoirs will be connected through a 6km long subterranean pressure tunnel.

The other components in the project will include the inlet and outlet structures, transformer, pressure pipes, control room, and workshops.

Power evacuation

The electricity generated by the Tauernmoos pumped-storage hydropower plant will be evacuated through a 110kV power cable system connecting to the Austrian power grid.

Contractors involved

General Electric (GE) Renewable Energy received a contract from Österreichische Bundesbahnen for the supply of two variable speed pumped storage turbines and generators for the Tauernmoos power project in May 2021.

The scope of the contract includes the design,  manufacturing, supply, erection supervision, and commissioning services for the pump-turbine units, as well as the balance of plant (BOP) equipment and services including power transformers and power frequency converters.

Swietelsky received an order worth approximately £124m (€139m) for the civil construction and tunneling work, while Geodata was engaged for geotechnical measurements and related services for the project.

Salzburger Sand and Kieswerke are responsible for concrete production for the construction works, the concrete production is controlled and managed with the help of software solutions from Dorner.

Bernard Gruppe was engaged for the EIA permit, application, as well as tender and execution designs for the project.

Lahmeyer International (now Tractebel Engie) along with ILF Consulting Engineers was engaged to carry out the feasibility study for the project in July 2004.