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Why the refurbishment of the upper Drava River power plants?

The life-spans of devices in hydroelectric power plants are limited and must be replaced after a certain period of time. In the second half of the 1980s, the deterioration of devices in six hydroelectric power plants on the upper Drava River, namely at Dravograd HPP, Vuzenica HPP, Vuhred HPP, Ožbalt HPP, Fala HPP and Mariborski otok HPP, became increasingly more obvious.

Three phases of refurbishment (1987-2005):

  • Fala HPP was the first to be refurbished, followed by
  • Phase 1 refurbishment of the upper Drava River power plants Dravograd HPP, Vuzenica HPP and Mariborski otok HPP, and
  • Phase 2 refurbishment work on the upper Drava River power plants Vuhred HPP and Ožbalt HPP

Work was carried out in such a way that only one unit of each power plant was stopped at the time, allowing for the least possible interruption to electric power generation.

The main goals of the refurbishment of the upper Drava River power plants:

  • to ensure reliable, safe and ecologically acceptable power plant operation in the ensuing decades,
  • to increase the capacity of the power plants, exploit a larger part of the hydro potential of the Drava River and increase the production of electric power,
  • to improve the possibilities of ensuring system services such as reserve power and cooperation in secondary frequency regulation,
  • to attain a larger equality of turbine flows to the power plants and through this, more optimal operations of all power plants in the chain, and
  • to upgrade the power plants for remote control and operation without permanent staff.
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