Statkraft has confirmed it has started a three month test operation of the new unit in Nedre Røssåga hydropower plant in Nordland, Norway.

In major upgrade works to the hydropower plant, Statkraft has spent the three last years building a new powerhouse next to the existing one at the project. A new 225MW unit has been installed in the new machine hall to substitute three of the original six units in the old power station when the test period is finished.

The remaining three units in the old power station have already been upgraded, and in total the installed capacity of the Nedre Røssåga hydropower plant will increase by 100MW to 350MW. By increasing the tunnel capacity and the efficiency of the new equipment, the total power output of Nedre Røssåga will increase by 200GWh per year. In total, the annual generation of the power plant will reach 2100GWh or 2.1 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy.

The planning of the new power station started in 2010, and construction started in January 2013. In addition to the actual powerhouse, the project includes 19km of new tunnels. Except for a new combined intake for both the new and the old power station, no new interventions have been made in the catchment area of the power plant. 

“Extensions and rehabilitations like the one in Nedre Røssåga are primarily to achieve improved energy utilisation on existing resources,” explained Hilde Bakken, EVP Power Generation. “By expanding the tunnel capacity and upgrade the equipment, we utilise the energy better and receive more flexible hydropower without new interventions and with moderate consequences for the environment.”

As the Nedre Røssåga-project comes to an end, works to upgrade the Øvre Røssåga power plant continuous. When even this rehabilitation is finalised in 2018, Statkraft will have invested more than NOK 2 billion to prepare the Røssåga power plants to generate large amounts of hydropower for another 50 years.