Verbund Innkraftwerke has been given the OK by authorities to begin a project to renovate and increase efficiency at the Jettenbach-Töging power plant in the Mühldorf district in Upper Bavaria, Germany.

Mühldorf’s district chief executive Georg Huber handed over the decision to approve the renovation project last month to Michael Amerer, Managing Director of Verbund Innkraftwerke GmbH, almost 100 years after construction commenced at the project.

The project was submitted to the district administration of Mühldorf am Inn for approval in 2015. “With an investment volume of around 250 million euros, it is currently the biggest hydropower project in Germany. Our goal is to increase the output of the existing power plant in Töging by around 25% and in future to generate electricity for around 200,000 households,” Michael Amerer explained, adding that the project should be completed in 2022.

 “We are delighted that we have been able to successfully complete this demanding process of finalising the plans for expanding and increasing the efficiency of the Jettenbach-Töging hydropower plant,” commented District chief executive Georg Huber. “Ultimately, the project will contribute to the development of regenerative energies beyond our district and thus also to climate protection. Thanks to the good cooperation between the authorities, in particular the rural districts of Mühldorf a. Inn and Altötting, the offices for water management and the conservation authorities as well as Verbund Innkraftwerke GmbH, the country’s only major hydropower project has been set in motion very efficiently.”

Verbund Innkraftwerke was able to make an early start on measures for implementing the project back in the autumn of 2018. In addition to the construction of pit seals and preparatory work at the Jettenbach weir and in Töging itself, work was also begun on extending the sealing of the Innkanal upstream. Project leader Bernhard Gerauer explained: “The possibility to bring selected measures forwards had a big impact on the project’s progress and completion target of 2022. Amongst other things, it was possible to carry out work on the Innkanal in the winter when the area was free of vegetation, which we would not be able to do now, despite the positive decision, for valid conservation reasons.”

When the new project is completed, the current power output of the Töging power plant of around 85MW should be increased to approximately 118MW. The present annual electricity generation (standard working capacity) of around 560GWh will be increased to around 700GWh.

This will be made possible by replacing the existing 14 Francis turbines at the project with three machine sets with Kaplan turbines. The new installation will be integrated into the existing situation as carefully as possible. Only two discreet slits in the slope provide any indication at all of the new power plant and thus avoid competing with the existing heritage-listed facility. The level and quantity of the water in the Innkanal will also be increased. The project costs are estimated at about €250 million.