Statkraft has officially reopened its Nedre Røssåga hydropower station in Nordland, Norway, following an extensive NOK 2 billion four-year renovation and expansion project which increased the stations capacity from 250MW to 350MW.

The plant was opened on 18 October by State Secretary Kjell Borge Freiberg (MPE) and Statkraft CEO Christian Rynning-Tønnesen.  The power station is now among Norway’s largest and will produce 2.15 TWh of electricity per year, equivalent to 1.6 percent of Norway's total generation.

Nedre Røssåga, which became operational in the 1950s, is located in Hemnes municipality and utilizes the head between Stormyrbassenget and Korgen. Refurbishment and expansion began in spring 2012, and trial operation has been underway since late July to August.

The renovation project involved rehabilitating three existing units and decommissioning a further three. A new power station was also buit inside the mountain, close to the old station, housing a large unit.  New waterways were partly driven by a tunnel boring machine for the first time in Norway in decades – with the RBM supplied by Robbins. In total, 19km of new tunnels have been driven.

The project has a positive environmental impact, Statkraft said in a statement. In parallel with the increased power generation, conditions have been improved for salmon and sea trout in Røssåga. Water has now returned to a stretch of the river representing 30% of the spawning basis throughout the Røssåga river system.