Pumped storage power plant near Schweich / Mosel Integrated landscape development with a technical infrastructure project

Aerial view landscape sub-basin © 2013 BGHplan Trier

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Visualization lower basin © 2013 BGHplan Trier

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Aerial view landscape upper basin © 2011 BGHplan Trier

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Visualization upper basin © 2013 BGHplan Trier

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View into the Kautenbach valley - without dam Lower basin © 2012 BGHplan Trier

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Visualization dam lower basin in the Kautenbach valley near Ensch © 2013 BGHplan Trier

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Regional alternatives assessment © 2013 BGHplan Trier

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Site plan pumped storage power plant near Schweich/Mosel © 2013 BGHplan Trier

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Site plan pumped storage power plant near Schweich/Mosel © 2013 BGHplan Trier

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Compensation streams © 2013 BGHplan Trier

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Traditional viticultural landscape in the vicinity of the planned pumped storage power plant © 2013 BGHplan Trier

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Increase in fallow land in the vineyard landscape of the Moselle in the vicinity of the planned pumped storage power plant © 2013 BGHplan Trier

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Fallow vineyard landscape in a tourist side valley of the Moselle near Fell at the planned pumped storage power plant. Areas to be kept open through a grazing project © 2013 BGHpla Trier

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Landscape at the planned pumped storage power plant near Schweich/Mosel © 2013 BGHplan Trier

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Aerial view landscape sub-basin © 2013 BGHplan Trier

Visualization lower basin © 2013 BGHplan Trier

Aerial view landscape upper basin © 2011 BGHplan Trier

Visualization upper basin © 2013 BGHplan Trier

View into the Kautenbach valley - without dam Lower basin © 2012 BGHplan Trier

Visualization dam lower basin in the Kautenbach valley near Ensch © 2013 BGHplan Trier

Regional alternatives assessment © 2013 BGHplan Trier

Site plan pumped storage power plant near Schweich/Mosel © 2013 BGHplan Trier

Site plan pumped storage power plant near Schweich/Mosel © 2013 BGHplan Trier

Compensation streams © 2013 BGHplan Trier

Traditional viticultural landscape in the vicinity of the planned pumped storage power plant © 2013 BGHplan Trier

Increase in fallow land in the vineyard landscape of the Moselle in the vicinity of the planned pumped storage power plant © 2013 BGHplan Trier

Fallow vineyard landscape in a tourist side valley of the Moselle near Fell at the planned pumped storage power plant. Areas to be kept open through a grazing project © 2013 BGHpla Trier

Landscape at the planned pumped storage power plant near Schweich/Mosel © 2013 BGHplan Trier

In order to regulate the amount of electricity generated in the Trier region from renewable sources such as wind and solar energy, which mainly occurs irregularly, a pumped storage power plant is being planned by Stadtwerke Trier near Schweich on the Moselle. When there is a surplus of electricity, water is pumped from a lower basin into an upper basin; when there is a demand for electricity, water from the upper basin is fed into the lower basin via generators, thus balancing the electricity grid. The project is understood as an integrated landscape development project, with which the surrounding landscape is also further developed together with municipalities, land users and citizens.

1. the project
The SWT Stadtwerke Trier has set itself the goal of generating 50 percent of the electricity consumed in the Trier region by 2020 via decentralised, renewable energy generation plants (wind energy, photovoltaics, hydropower) in the region and thus consistently driving forward the expansion of renewable energy generation. Renewable energies, especially photovoltaic and wind power plants, show a high fluctuation and do not accrue according to demand. In order to increase the share of these energies and at the same time adjust generation to demand, it is necessary to expand flexible power plant capacity and energy storage. The aim is therefore to use the planned pumped storage power plant to balance the electricity consumption of the entire region and to create the possibility of implementing a regional energy concept based on renewable energy. The focus here is on storing as much regional surplus energy from renewable energies as possible directly and without long transmission routes in the region and feeding it back in as required.
In this context, SWT is planning to construct a pumped storage power plant (PSPP) with a capacity of approx. 300 MW. The prerequisite for such an energy storage facility is a sufficiently large upper and lower basin (each with a capacity of approx. 6 million m³) with an appropriate water supply for the initial filling and the greatest possible difference in height between the basins in order to achieve maximum energy efficiency.
The machines required for pumping the water or for generating electricity will be housed in an underground cavern below the upper basin. Adits and shafts running underground will provide a connection first from the upper basin to the cavern and from there to the lower basin. These galleries and shafts serve to exchange water between the basins. The only visible features in the landscape are vegetated earthen embankments / dams and operating buildings.

The selected site is located on the Moselle River approximately 2 km east of Schweich. The planned facility consists of an upper basin on a ridge and a lower basin, which is created by sealing off a valley. The usable height difference between the basins amounts to approx. 200 m. For the initial filling, water will be taken from the Moselle. The Moselle cannot be used as a lower basin, because regulated navigation would then no longer be possible. Due to the existing overhead lines in the area, a local connection to the high-voltage grid is possible.
The upper reservoir extends over the crest of the Hummelsberg above Mehring. A self-contained, ring-shaped dam will be constructed to create the reservoir. The area required for the upper basin is around 70 ha.
The lower basin will be created by damming the Kautenbach valley above Ensch. For this purpose, an approx. 60 m high dam is planned, which will be placed approx. 500 m above the edge of the village. A total area of approx. 43 ha is required for the lower basin.
The area required for the project, including water management, nature conservation and forestry compensation measures, totals approx. 300 ha.
Due to the spatial impact of the planned project, a regional planning procedure (ROV) was carried out; it was concluded in 2013 with a positive result. In 2015, the planning approval is to be applied for, the commissioning of the pumped storage is planned for 2020.


2. Preconditions for a (hopefully) successful implementation
2.1 Creating added value for the region - preserving and developing cultural landscape
A project of this magnitude does not meet with approval per se. One chance to improve acceptance is to solve problems that exist locally at the same time as a large-scale project. The Moselle Valley is one of the most important tourist regions in Rhineland-Palatinate. In addition to the river itself, the vineyards, which extend along both sides of the valley in steep slopes to the forested upper edge of the slope, are particularly characteristic. One of the biggest regional problems is the decline of viticulture in the WeinKulturLandschaft Mosel. This leads to a patchwork of farmland and, in some cases, large areas of fallow land, which make it difficult to cultivate the remaining areas and considerably reduce the value of the landscape for tourism and recreation.
The project was able to initiate and finance a model discussion in the surrounding communities, in which it was clarified together with winegrowers and municipalities which areas would still be used for winegrowing in the future and where reforestation or open space measures should be carried out. At the same time, it was communicated that the compensation concept under nature conservation and forestry law for the project would adhere to this orientation framework and fit compensation measures, as far as this is technically justifiable, into the area setting of this discussion process. This process was completed in the summer of 2012. Currently, in cooperation with nature conservation authorities and environmental associations, the selection of areas is taking place that will ultimately be submitted to the approval process. The area selection will in turn be communicated to the municipalities.
In addition to providing land for the project, a reallocation process, which is currently underway in parallel with the preparation of the approval documents, is also being used to provide contiguous compensation areas under nature conservation law, on which grazing projects are intended to ensure that the landscape is kept open as desired. As an intended by-product, the wine-growing areas will be merged into coherent, sustainable wine-growing areas. With the instrument of the intervention regulation under nature conservation law, the compensation of agrarian structural disadvantages is achieved at the same time.

In the course of the regulation of the Moselle for navigation half a century ago, a side arm was created near Mehring, which only has an upstream connection to the river. As a result, a lot of flotsam with a high proportion of rubbish collects here during floods, which significantly reduces the ecological and aesthetic qualities. Some of the required compensatory mitigation to develop a wetland will be shifted to this area to make the channel passable and develop it as a tributary.


2.2 Involve Stakeholders Early
The implementation of this project in the targeted timeframe requires timely planning coordinated from the beginning with all project stakeholders. For this reason, a very aggressive information policy has been pursued since the initial considerations for the project. Regular citizens' meetings and site inspections serve to transport information about the developing planning and give the opportunity to deal with emerging concerns of citizens in good time. As a result, the mood towards the project is positive. In addition, in the sense of a weak-point analysis, problems that arose during the planning process were discussed directly with the specialist authorities, municipalities and users concerned, and planning solutions were found. The nature conservation associations and specialist authorities are regularly involved throughout the course of the project.
The regional planning procedure was only opened with a plan concept that had been clarified in advance by the informal discussions and that covered all aspects, with the hope that this would enable the procedure to be passed with few objections. In fact, only 3 critical comments from citizens and one municipality were received during the procedure.
The same procedure will also be applied to the planning approval procedure, for which the preliminary work started at the end of 2013.

2.3 Consider regional economic aspects
The financing of the project, a total of about € 500 million, is to be predominantly from the region ("From the region, for the region"). To this end, new approaches are also being taken. Property owners in the project area (including municipalities, but also many private individuals) have the opportunity, for example, to contribute the value of their real estate as a financial contribution to the project. The project executing agency, Stadtwerke Trier, has also had good experience with widely distributed share certificates for renewable energy projects, which are also to be used here. In this way, the economic added value remains in the region and improves acceptance.

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Information on external websitesn

Aktueller Stand der Projektentwicklung (SWT)

Planning offices

BGHplan Umweltplanung und Landschaftsarchitektur GmbH
Trier

Employees
Bernhard Gillich (Projektleiter)
Reinhold Hierlmeier
Susanne Schönecker
Peter Simon
Peter Zwingmann

Project period
2011 - 2020

Size
300 ha

Construction amount
500 Mill. €

Client
SWT PSKW-RIO GmbH & Co. KG

Address
Auf dem Hummelsberg bei Mehring / Kautenbachtal bei Ensch
54338 Schweich
Deutschland

Show project location on map

Project type
Impact regulation and compensation
Tourism development and recreation planning
Regional development concepts
Public participation / moderation