Stuttgart/Iffezheim. EnBW took the fifth new machine in the Rheinkraftwerk Iffezheim into commercial operation this week. The hydropower plant on the Rhine, with its now five large Kaplan bulb turbines and an attraction flow turbine with a combined peak power totalling 148 megawatts, is now feeding renewable electricity from hydropower into the electricity grid. The trial operation was successfully concluded and the machine handed over to the operating team last Monday. The fifth machine makes Rheinkraftwerk Iffezheim Germany's largest run-of-river hydropower plant now able to supply around 250,000 households per year with hydroelectric power.
"The installation of the fifth machine in Rheinkraftwerk Iffezheim is an important step in the expansion of renewable energies for EnBW and for Germany", said Dr. Hans-Josef Zimmer, Chief Technology Officer of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG. "We don't have much expansion potential left in hydropower but, wherever possible and economically viable, such as in Iffezheim, we want to leverage that potential. Now that this technically extremely sophisticated project has been concluded, my special thanks go to the project team which has made it possible to supply another 35,000 households in the region with hydroelectric power." The process of installing the new machines took four years. They were installed in the existing power plant while it was still operating. A very narrow construction area, various underground hindrances on the construction site, and the elliptical shape of the excavation required the project team to apply all its extremely skilful engineering know-how. Machinery parts weighing many tons had to be heaved through small apertures in the machinery house. In recent weeks, the team was able to carry out the trial operation on site despite flooding and make the finishing touches. The machine is meanwhile running with the others in normal operation.
In October, an inauguration celebration and an open day will mark the official commissioning of the hydropower plant on the Rhine.