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Romania starts modernisation of the Vidraru Hydroelectric Power Plant

Romania’s largest producer of green electricity Hidroelectrica signed the order to start the refurbishment works of the Vidraru Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP), a project of strategic importance for the National Energy System.

According to Hidroelectrica, this major investment will bring state-of-the-art technologies and innovative solutions for the modernisation and optimisation of the operation of the Vidraru HPP, significantly contributing to the stability and efficiency of the national energy grid.

Vidraru

Romania’s Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu and Minister of Energy Sebastian Burduja underlined the importance of this project for Romania’s energy future and expressed their support for the initiatives that promote sustainability and energy efficiency.

“We are all looking at this impressive dam. I confess that I feel a huge pride towards the past and a total confidence towards the future,” said the Prime Minister. “I look confidently to the future because never in its modern history has Romania invested and built at a more sustained pace than now. There are tens of billions of euros invested in everything that means critical infrastructures – transport, energy, health, IT and today’s investment of almost 200 million euros is one of the essential objectives for our energy system. This investment will allow us to modernise this masterpiece of Romanian engineering.”

“The refurbishment of the Vidraru HPP will increase the renewable energy production capacity and will have a positive impact on the entire national energy system,” added the Minister of Energy. “Most importantly, we will all benefit from this investment, the citizens as well as the business environment in Romania, through access to safe energy, at a fair price and as green as possible.”

The Vidraru Hydropower Plant, inaugurated in 1966, uses the hydropower potential of the Arges River on a 28 kilometres sector and has an installed capacity of 220 megawatts (MW), contributing approximately to 400 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity annually. The Vidraru Dam, at the time of its inauguration, was the fifth largest in Europe and the ninth in the world.

The refurbishment aims to boost the power of each hydro unit from 55 MW to at least 58.8 MW, while keeping the maximum water flow per unit at 22.5 cubic metres per second. Additionally, it seeks to improve the efficiency of the hydro units and the entire system, enhancing performance and increasing the return on investment beyond initial levels. The project also focuses on increasing the reliability, availability and safety of all equipment and installations, ensuring the quality of additional services provided by the HPP. Furthermore, a centralised monitoring and control system will be implemented to allow flexible operation monitoring. Finally, the refurbishment will prepare the equipment and installations at Vidraru HPP and other development areas for a new operating cycle.

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