Statkraft is to begin field research in the spring to study the ecology downstream of the Viforsens power plant in Sweden.

Together with other stakeholders, Statkraft is aiming to evaluate how the physical conditions, such as water flow and bottom structure, affect the ecology of the area. The project will also help identify the biological status, such as the density of different fish species, and to identify measures to improve the ecological status of the area.

The project was prompted following an incident in August 2013, when the company made an unintentional breach in the regulation downriver from the Viforsens power plant. The incident was reported to the county administrative board, both by Statkraft and Älvräddarna.

"Statkraft has a zero tolerance policy for deviations from the water adjunction and report all deviations to the county administrative board," said Angela Odelberg, environmental coordinator at Statkraft and project manager of the initiative. "We will take our responsibility for our ecological impact but we are not the only stakeholder that affect the water levels in Ljungan. All stakeholders that operate in the area are dependent on each other. That’s why we initiated this project. We hope and believe that the other hydroelectric manufactures in Ljungan also join the project."

The other participants invited to join the project are Hushållningssällskapet, Fiskevårdsområdena Tuna östra and Nedre Ljungan, the Municipaliy of Sundsvall, Vattenregleringsföretagen and Ljunganfiskarna. The project will start of with a two-day meeting that includes visits to a number of sites that are typical salmon areas or particularly exposed areas.

The research will begin in the spring and continue throughout 2014. Results will then be presented by early 2015.

Photo: The Viforsens power plant in Ljungan (Source: Statkraft)