Alstom was awarded a contract by Vorarlberger Illwerke AG for the supply of two generators and exciters for the Obervermuntwerk II pumped-storage power station in Austria.
The generators have an output of 180 MW each and are specially designed for flexible use. Alstom is also responsible for the assembling and commissioning the machines.
Once in operation in 2018, the Obervermuntwerk II pumped-storage power station will have an output of 360 MW and will be Illwerke’s second-largest power station. The power plant is designed as a parallel to the existing Obervermuntwerk. It will be constructed at an altitude of 1,700 metres above sea level, as an underground station between the two reservoirs Silvretta and Vermunt in Montafon.
Thanks to Alstom’s efficient, flexible and reliable generator technology, the design specifications of both Obervermunt’s generators are specifically tailored to the power station and have excellent part-load capability in particular. As a result, they operate extremely efficiently in lower and medium load ranges as well.
In terms of flexibility, pumped-storage power plants increase up to 33% of rated power for partial load operation range. This means that power generation can be ideally adjusted to the capacity required in the grid. This flexibility is beneficial in terms of both costs and environmental friendliness.
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Josef Reisel, Managing Director of Alstom Renewable Austria GmbH in Vienna, says: “Given the expansion of intermittent energy production sources (wind, solar etc.) which increases the need for storage, pumped storage will play a greater role in tomorrow’s energy market. It is the most efficient and flexible form of storing electricity on a grid scale, enabling utilities to respond quickly to demand and balance the grid, replacing the fossil fuels traditionally used during peak demand periods with renewable CO2 free energy.”
All over the world, Alstom installs pumped storage plants, increasing overall plant efficiency. Currently, Alstom is developing 3 GW of variable speed pumped storage plants worldwide: Nant de Drance (6 units x 157 MW), Linthal 2015 (4 x 250 MW) in Switzerland and Tehri (4 x 250 MW) in India. Alstom has been providing pump turbines and motor generators for over 50 years and has supplied a total of 56,000 MW of pump turbines and motor generators to date.