Hydropower

Poland signs agreement for 80-MW Siarzewo hydropower facility

Poland has signed an agreement to build the 80-MW Siarzewo hydropower facility on the lower Vistula River for an estimated cost of US$619.

According to an announcement from Energa SA (Energa), on Dec. 1, government officials from Poland’s Ministry of the Environment signed the agreement with Energa Invest SA, a subsidiary of Energa, to build the plant in Siarzewo, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland.

The ministry said the project will include a new dam, improved flood safety and help to restore the navigability of the 1,000-km-long Vistula River. The river, which in places has significant seasonal ice buildup, runs through the middle of Poland and empties into the Baltic Sea.

Components for the new facility include powerhouse construction, turbines and generators, transformers, installing transmission lines, substations and access roads.

According to the agreement, the scope of the planned project also includes a weir that will have 15 bays, a navigable lock that has “standstill” births for vessels and icebreakers, riverine bypass (similar to a natural river), two fish passages, equipment for rafting down the river and lateral earth dams, a water reservoir and accompanying elements.

Currently, Poland has about 2.35 GW of installed hydropower capacity and another large capacity hydropower plant is also located on the Vistula. The 160.2-MW Wloclawek was commissioned in 1970 and the facility’s power plant has six Kaplan turbines that each have a capacity of 26.7 MW.

Information on project funding was not immediately available.

In 2014, HydroWorld.com reported the European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed to lend up to US$93.3 million to Poland energy company Tauron Polska Energia S.A. for renewable energy investments including refurbishment of several Tauron Group hydroelectric projects.

Earlier this year information EIB released said it has invested more than $30.2 billion in Poland beginning in 2012 to 2016. Of that investment, EIB said 8% or about $2.33 billion went to energy development.

Between 2017 and 2019, the ministry said it plans to obtain necessary administrative decisions and begin project construction in 2020, with completion expected by the end of 2025.

Energa said it is one of the four largest energy groups in Poland and provides and sells electricity to more than three million customers.