Power generation portfolio expanded

Kurt Bobst, CEO:

“Considering the challenging operating environment, 2011 was a positive year for Repower. In addition to a good operating result, we were able to make solid progress in developing our strategic projects.”

Power generation portfolio expanded

During the reporting year, Repower successfully worked to expand its power generation portfolio. In Switzerland the Taschinas hydropower plant was connected on schedule to the grid in spring 2011 following construction lasting two and a half years. The high-pressure power plant with an installed capacity of 11 megawatts is the ideal complement to the current and future use of hydroelectric power in the Prättigau/Rheintal region. The gradient in the Prättigau valley has been utilised for many decades by the Klosters, Schlappin and Küblis power plants. Repower aims to add two more levels to the power plant cascade with the planned Chlus hydropower project: a station at the beginning of the valley near Landquart and another one in the vicinity of the Rhine. The planned total capacity of the power plant is 55 megawatts, which covers the annual energy demand of around 50,000 households. Electricity generation from hydropower would double in Prättigau with this project. In 2011 work continued on the concession project and the environmental impact statement (EIS). Repower expects the concession application to be submitted to the municipalities during the course of 2012.

Work progressed at all levels on the Lagobianco project in 2011. In November of the reporting year, Repower submitted the request for concession approval together with the municipalities Poschiavo, Pontresina and Brusio to the canton of Graubünden government. An important element of the application is the environmental impact statement (EIS) Level 1 that examines the situation after construction is complete and analyses the impact of power plant operations on the environment. Work for the project approval is in progress so that the final application can be submitted to the canton during 2012 if the concession decision is positive. With this planned 1,000-megawatt pumped storage power plant, Repower aims to considerably expand its own power generation portfolio with controllable energy. Storage capacities are the absolutely vital counterpart to further expansion of new renewable energies.

In addition to hydroelectric power, Repower invests in wind power in the area of renewable energies: last summer, construction got underway on the Lucera wind power plant in Apulia. In the meantime, the foundations for seven of the thirteen planned installations are in place. Repower expects the wind farm to commence operation in the autumn of 2012. The project to add a further fifteen wind turbines is currently in the approval phase. Moreover, the purchase of a project for another wind farm in the municipality of Pontremoli, Toscana, was concluded at the end of 2011. The wind farm will have an installed capacity of around thirty megawatts. Finally, an application to expand the existing wind farm in Corleto Perticara by eighteen megawatts is in the approval process.

To cover the base load, Repower is also pursuing projects in the thermal sector. The project specifications for the planned coal-fired power plant in Saline Joniche, Calabria, were further defined both at the technical level as well as in terms of the approval process. The environmental impact statement was submitted to the national authorities in 2011; their decision is expected in the spring of 2012. Dialogue with local stakeholders is also continuing: the project company regularly provides information on the status of the work and listens to the concerns of the local population. In addition to advocates of the power plant project, there are also critical voices among inhabitants and from environmental circles. Repower takes these seriously and contributes to shaping opinions by providing factual information. The first project and approval phase was completed for the project to build a hard coal-fired power plant in Brunsbüttel after obtaining the initial restricted planning permission in the spring of 2011. Due to the economic and energy policy situation, however, completion of the project is not expected in the foreseeable future.

Project work to complete a combined cycle power plant in Leverkusen continued in 2011. The planned power plant is a perfect fit for the industrial site in Leverkusen because it will supply process steam to the companies located there and it can take advantage of key services already available on the industrial site. The facility will be based on eco-friendly combined heat and power generation, thus achieving a very high fuel efficiency level.