Hydro power is an extremely important part of the energy ecosystem. In areas where hydro power is available and possible, it is possible to use hydro power to offset fluctuations in the power supply from other renewable sources such as wind and solar power. This means that it is more relevant to go for these kinds of renewable sources of energy, when hydro power can act as a guarantee and a stabilizing factor to ensure a reliable energy supply.
In Norway, hydro power is by far the largest source of energy. In 2016, more than 95% of the total energy production in Norway stemmed from hydro power. The total output of hydro power that year – 121,5 TWh – was about 4% of the world’s total hydro power.
Many of these hydro power plants are however fairly old. With modern technologies, it is possible to increase energy output, effectiveness, lower the ecological impact and ensure an even more stable energy production. The challenges lie in renewing existing hydro power plants as quickly and efficiently as possible so as to have as short a stoppage time as possible, and with as great enough end result as can be achieved.
In Kongsvinger outside of Oslo, VEO have just completed their overhaul of the existing hydro plant. The results are impressive, VEO have renewed the total complete electrification and automation systems for the existing unit and for the new second unit.
VEO’s strengths in the hydro power business lie in their competence as providers of reliable solutions that are possible to integrate and execute rapidly. In other words, they know what they are doing, they do it quickly and the end result stands up to scrutiny. This is due to an experize in the company and amongst the people working at the company, an expertize that dates back to the late 1980s and is based on continuously planning, designing and executing projects such as the one in Kongsvinger.
Technologically VEO offers solutions from generators to turbines, including electrification and automation systems for the complete hydro power plant. Both efficiency and availability are important to hydro power plant owners . By implementing best practice solutions VEO can guarantee a higher plant availability and improved efficiency.
Hydropower is the major energy source in Norway. VEO is providing the solutions to use this energy as efficiently and safely as possible, while implementing these changes in a safe, quick and efficient way. This has led to VEO being the fourth largest contractor for plant modernisations in the hydro power field in Norway. On a Nordic scale, VEO has to date delivered over 250 hydro plant modernisations.
500 m3/s is a normal river flow rate for the river Glomma at Kongsvinger hydro power plant. As the most there have been cases with water flow rates in the river of up to 2000 m3/s. The gates at the hydro power plant in Kongsvinger have a capacity of coping with a flow rate to 5000 m3/s. As a comparison, the average flow rate of the Niagara falls is 1843 m3/s. Note that Kongsvinger hydro power plant is situated in the south of Norway with very low elevation (10 meters). The Niagara falls have an elevation of 51 meters.
To produce as much energy as this hydro plant – 46MW and about 0,4 TWh per year – with a same size traditional coal plant, the CO2 emission for a 40MW plant would be appr 100.000 ton. Before VEO came in, this hydro plant produced 22MW with one unit. After rebuilding the plant and adding 1 unit, the output became 46MW.