CEZ Raises Efficiency of Its Hydro Portfolio in Romania

EnergyProjectsSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 1/2014

After nearly two years of extensively upgrading the Resita water power plant system on the Barzava Superioara river, the project has come to a successful end. Due to the investment of EUR 30 million, the four hydropower plants now generate electricity with 20% higher efficiency, thus producing one fifth more electricity from the same amount of water.

"Hydropower plants are very environmentally friendly sources of energy. Due to their great flexibility in production, they can stabilize the entire power system, forming an important part of our portfolio. Moreover, in this mountainous region of Romania, they are very effective in power generation; therefore, it made sense for us to invest in their upgrade to improve their efficiency by one fifth," explains Tomas Pleskac, Division Director for Distribution and Foreign Assets.

The installed capacity of the hydropower plant system has thus increased from 18 MW to 22 MW. During the tests conducted in November, the total amount of electricity generated in the system of micro-hydropower plants reached a net value of 1.4 GWh.

The entire project entered the preparation phase two years ago, and the actual upgrade work commenced in July 2012. The new technology installed at the four hydropower plants (Grebla, Crainicel I, Crainicel II and Breazova) meets high performance criteria and includes turbines, generators, GIS module transformers and automatic water-cleaning equipment. The feeding channels and the 35 kV terrestrial power lines, which is used to connect the power plants to the 110 kV distribution system, have also been repaired.

In mid 2013, CEZ also built Borek, a small hydropower plant in Poland, where it already operates the Skawinka micro hydropower plant. By means of the Akkok joint venture and its subsidiaries in Turkey, the CEZ Group operates eight hydropower plants with a total installed capacity of more than 370 MW.

Even in the Czech Republic CEZ has launched a unique program of upgrading its hydropower plants. The historically largest reconstruction of the Lipno hydropower plant is soon going to be finished. Upgraded as well as new technologies and systems have already improved the efficiency of power generation at the hydropower plants of Kamyk, Slapy, Mohelno, Vrane nad Vltavou, and also of the pumped-storage hydropower plants of Dalesice and Stechovice.

In 2022, the total increase of power generated in Czech hydropower plants will have reached more than 60 million kWh yearly. That will represent electricity for another 17,000 households and a reduction of CO2 emissions by some 60,000 tons.

The CEZ Group is the greatest hydropower plant operator in the Czech Republic, operating both large and small hydropower plants and pumped storage hydropower plants with a total installed capacity of 1,935.2 MW. The Czech hydropower plants of the CEZ Group account for more than two thirds of the power generated in renewable energy sources.

Source: CEZ Group