The Gondo hydroelectric plant in Switzerland is now operating with a capacity of 57MW thanks to an extensive modernisation project at the plant that added a further 12MW.
Initiated in 2012 by Energie Electrique du Simplon SA (EES), the work involved overhauling two hydroelectric groups at the plant, with the third replaced with a new group. The inauguration of the plant was held at the weekend, with the new generation unit commissioned in early June 2017.
The average annual production at the plant has increased by 15 million kWh, to 198 million kWh, which corresponds to the annual consumption of approximately 50,000 households. The modernisation has also increased the flexibility of the power plant, which can now also supply primary control power and reactive power to the national grid operator Swissgrid.
To complement the replacement of Group 3, Groups 1 and 2 were overhauled in order to guarantee the power plant’s high level of availability. A range of measures was carried out on the machinery and the secondary components (control unit, regulation, protection, internal service, auxiliary installations). To optimise the operation, the EES facility is now controlled remotely from Alpiq's power plant operations centre in Lausanne.
The investment for the three machine groups amounts to a total of CHF 22 million.