Voith Hydro Modernizes Italian Hydropower Plants
Voith, known as the world’s leading supplier of hydroelectric equipment, has been awarded to overhaul three hydropower plants in Italy, a project that will last through mid-2016. The modernization of these hydropower plants will safeguard 13 megawatts of renewable energy to the Italian grid for many decades.
Voith will modernize the Alessandro Volta plant in Castel Madama for ACEA S.p.A, Rome province, which was constructed in 1915. The supplier will provide a complete range of equipment for the two power generating units (4.5 and 2.7 megawatts), which includes Francis spiral turbines, generators, the respective governors, automation, and balance of the plant.
The remaining two modernization projects in Pompegnino and Pont St. Martin have been awarded by BKW Italia S.p.A., member of the BKW Group, one of Switzerland’s largest energy companies. The Pompegnino project will have its two vertical Kaplan-turbines, of which the first was installed in 1927, overhauled by Voith. In addition, the hydroelectric equipment supplier will provide new according generators, hydraulic governors, as well as the automation and electrical balance of the plant.
For the Pont St. Martin plant, Voith will replace the four horizontal Francis units with one new vertical seven-bladed Kaplan turbine unit and one horizontal Francis machine. In addition, the hydroelectric equipment supplier will provide turbines, generators, hydraulic governors, and the automation and electrical balance of plant.
It is the outstanding longevity of the plants that is the core of hydro’s remarkable long-term profitability and makes hydro stand out as a desirable industry for investors. The modernization and overhaul of these plants by Voith will generate electricity from renewable sources without the need for creating new structures. This keeps the environmental impact low with very little need for new investments.
A recent survey highlights that 90% of European energy experts think modernization and expansion of existing hydro schemes should be a priority, and Voith is at the forefront of the movement.