The new Rheinfelden power plant, which is located 25 kilometres east of Basel, will replace its forefather, the first run-of-river hydroelectric power plant in Europe, located 500 metres downstream the Rhine.
The original design only assumed a flow rate of 600 m3/s and generated 185 GWh during a normal year. A relatively small amount of energy compared to the river's 1,030 m3/s flow rate during an average year.
The new project became a reality for its owners, Energiedienst AG (ED), as a result of advancements in turbine technology and the cost-effective design of the power house. The scope of the new power plant includes construction of seven spillways, a power house and deepening of the tailrace. The project consists of four 25 MW Bulb turbines and a small turbine with a 2 MW capacity integrated into the separating pier between the power house and the first spillway, in order to ensure that the downstream flow is continually maintained.
The new power plant will increase the annual energy production to a total of 600 GWh, thus tripling the current production. The project has an investment volume of EUR 344 million.
Pöyry is providing major engineering services including feasibility study, tender and contractual documents and detailed design of the power house.