May 11th, 2021

Pumped storage power plant Markersbach – increase in shuttle water volume approved

Ring dam of the upper basin with inlet towers

Ring dam of the upper basin with inlet towers

Due to the changed conditions on the energy market, pumped storage power plants are of particular importance with regard to the storage of renewable energy, e.B from wind energy or overarching grid regulation. Accordingly, europe-wide investigations have been carried out in recent years to expand these capacities.

Special attention is paid to the expansion of existing plants, as they can be implemented more easily and quickly than the construction of new plants due to licensing requirements.

As a result of investigations by Vattenfall Wasserkraft GmbH, it was found for the markersbach pumped storage power plant that an increase in the amount of energy that can be stored is possible through a corresponding increase in the amount of shuttle water with moderate structural interventions in the existing plants. This increase is due to a new lower operating dam target lower basin and a new upper operating dam target upper basin. There is no increase in the amount of system water and thus no additional withdrawal from the water balance.

For the implementation of the project idea, no structural measures are planned at the lower basin. The retention effect of the lower basin for the catchment area of the Große Mittweida (Mulde river basin) also remains unchanged. At the upper basin, the installation of wave deflection cores as precast concrete elements to secure the freeboard. The wave deflecters are arranged on the land side of the existing wave deflecter and next to the railing on the water side of the dam crown. As prefabricated parts, standardized concrete protective walls from road construction are used. There is no increase in the ring dam. Underground structures (cavern power plant and power lines) are not affected by the measure.

Tractebel Hydroprojekt GmbH was commissioned in 2019 by Vattenfall Wasserkraft GmbH with the planning lines for obtaining the approval and with the tendering and execution planning for the project. The approval documents were submitted in the summer of 2020 and approved in spring 2021, so that the contract with the precast plant could now also be triggered. As part of the maintenance, early repair measures have already been carried out on the existing shaft deflecters and on Kronenstraße, so that the precast concrete elements can be placed on the dam crown by September 2021 and the first impoundment of the new upper operating dam target at the Upper Basin can be completed in autumn 2021.

Lars Schaarschmidt – Weimar