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Iffezheim Rhine power plant

EnBW has installed a fifth machine in the existing plant at its Rhine power plant in Iffezheim. With an installed output of 38 MW, it has been producing carbon-free electricity for around an additional 35,000 households every year since 2013. EnBW is thus continuing to play its part in exploiting the hydropower potential still available in Baden-Württemberg.

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The largest run-of-river power plant in Germany

Iffezheim Rhine power plant – a fifth machine has been added

After a construction period lasting four years, the new fifth turbine at Iffezheim Rhine power plant (RKI) is now generating electricity. The machine has been in commercial operation since June 2013. This means that five large Kaplan turbines with a total output of 148 megawatts now feed renewable electricity generated from hydropower into the power grid at the Rhine power plant. With its fifth machine, the RKI is the largest run-of-river power plant in Germany, supplying around 250,000 households with carbon-free energy.

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Images from the installation of the fifth turbine in Iffezheim

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The most essential advantages of hydropower at a glance

  • Hydropower is reliable: Assuming the minimum flow rate is maintained, hydropower is continuously available at run-of-river power plants – regardless of whether the wind is blowing or the sun is shining.
  • Hydropower is climate-friendly: The electricity from the fifth machine can cut carbon emissions by around 110,000 metric tons per year.
  • Hydropower is in harmony with flora and fauna: We integrate our plants into the natural surroundings. Fish ladders and a naturally structured littoral zone provide ideal living conditions for plants, microorganisms and fish.
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Construction diary and the latest information on the project’s progress

This is where we inform you about important events in reverse chronological order (the most recent events are at the top).

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July to August 2013 +++ Restoration of the fishway

During the summer months, considerable effort went into restoring and optimizing the fishway in order to further improve opportunities for upstream fish migration. Since the turbine which provides the current that attracts fish to the fishway will operate at a higher water flow rate in the future, the experts have adapted the existing tanks to the new conditions. Among other things, the baffles between the individual pools have been enlarged or in some cases completely removed. Other remaining work was simultaneously carried out in the power plant building.

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May to June 2013 +++ Start of commercial operations

On 16 June 2013, after a four-year construction period, the new fifth machine at the Rhine power plant in Iffezheim was finally handed over to the company Rheinkraftwerk Iffezheim GmbH and commercial generation commenced. Iffezheim Rhine power plant now boasted a total installed output of 148 megawatts, making it the largest run-of-river power plant in Germany. The energy needs of around 250,000 households per year could now be met by electricity from hydropower, which is generated here at the Rhine power plant in Iffezheim.

Despite the commercial operation of the new machine, there was still a lot of fit-out work to be done: For example, stair rails had to be fitted and covers for cable and pipeline ducts installed.

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March to April 2013 +++ Start of wet commissioning

In March, the dismantling of the water-side construction pit structures continued so that the water could flow in and out of the new machine. At the same time, the turbine and the headrace components were checked for watertightness. To this end, the machine chamber and thus the headrace were completely flooded for the first time. The experts simultaneously commissioned further machine components. Only then could so-called wet commissioning begin: On 23 April 2013, the generator for the fifth machine was synchronized with the grid for the first time. From this point on, the machine started feeding the first kilowatt-hours into the grid.

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Construction diary archive

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Press releases on the project