Hydro power in Hambach?

With the earlier lignite phase-out in Germany, coal production in the Hambach opencast mine will cease at the end of this decade. The subsequent use of the opencast mine by filling it as an opencast mining lake will begin in 2030.

The approximately 36 km² water surface will have a volume of around 4,320 million m³ and a depth of up to 360 m. The water required to fill the open-cast mining lake will be drawn from the Rhine over a period of 40 years. The volume of water and the height from the edge of the opencast mine to the respective filling level of the opencast mine reservoir represent a considerable energy potential that can be used to generate energy.

Tractebel Hydroprojekt carried out a feasibility study in 2021 and, based on this, a preliminary planning for the safe discharge of the water volumes into the opencast mine lake. At the same time, the basic options for hydropower utilization and their economic prospects were examined. This apparently convinced the client, so that RWE Power AG awarded us the contract for the preliminary planning of hydropower utilization. The preliminary planning will be completed in the first quarter of 2024. This will be followed by the design and approval planning for the discharge and hydropower utilization.

Robert Achatz – Munich