GE Renewable Energy to Equip VERBUND’S Reisseck II+ Pumped Hydro Storage Power Plant

  • GE Renewable Energy to provide one 45 MW horizonal generator
  • From 2023, the new pumped hydro storage power plant will support the integration of wind and photovoltaic systems in Austria
  • Following Malta Oberstufe, Reisseck II is VERBUND’s second fully-fed variable speed pumped hydro storage power plant in Austria equipped by GE Hydro

GE Renewable Energy announced today that it has been selected by VERBUND – Austria’s largest electricity producer – to supply and commission one 45 MW generator for the extension of the Reisseck II Pumped Hydro Storage Power Plant in Carinthia/Austria, located 2300 meters above sea level. The project will be executed by GE Renewable Energy in a consortium with GE Power Conversion, which is supplying frequency converters and an excitation transformer as well as the control unit.

The Reisseck II pumped hydro storage power plant went into operation in 2016 and will be now extended by “Reisseck II+”, an underground cavern power plant. With a capacity of 430MW, Reisseck II is the second largest pumped hydro storage power plant of the Malta/Reisseck power plant group. The expansion will add another45 MW of capacity. After completion of the necessary preparatory work, construction is scheduled to start in the spring of 2021. From 2023, the new pumped storage power plant, in combination with the existing systems, will serve to support the integration of wind and photovoltaic systems in Austria and continue to serve as a supporting pillar for grid security. Pumped hydro storage power plants such as Reisseck II are the most ecologically and economically sensible way of balancing out the highly fluctuating power generation from wind and solar. In total, Reisseck II can store as much power as generated by 200 wind turbines on demand to the grid, thus making optimum use of renewable energy.

Following the Malta Upper Stage facility in 2020, Reisseck II+ will be VERBUND’s second Pumped Hydro Storage power plant featuring GE Hydro Solutions fully-fed variable speed technology. This design allows for immediately available electricity, high flexibility and short response times to load changes. Due to the higher flexibility and predictability, power peaks in the grid can be covered even more efficiently. For a unit, variable speed can increase weighted efficiency in turbine mode by an average of one percent and pumping power adjustment range by 30%.

Pascal Radue, CEO GE Hydro Solutions said, “Variable speed technologyis included in half of the Pumped Hydro Storage projects developed by GE Renewable Energy. In Austria, a country where Hydropower is so crucial, Reisseck II+ is the third project where we are applying this breakthrough technology. We are really excited to join forces with VERBUND at the forefront of the next wave of pumped hydro storage in Austria.”