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MOTOREX Magazine 2011 94 EN

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Report Photos: Axpo

Report Photos: Axpo AG/Marti AG In the heart of a mountain at 1700 meters above sea level, workers labor around the clock toward a common goal. In 2015, four pump turbines will commence operation here in this imposing cavern, supplying 1000 megawatts of electricity. PROJECT LINTHAL 2015: ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR WATER POWER Pumped storage plants function as gigantic batteries for the electricity industry. Consumers don’t always need all of the electricity generated by large power plants in continuous operation. In these cases, pumped storage plants can be used to lift water up to highaltitude reservoirs, from which water turbines can then supply electricity precisely at times of peak demand. Switzerland’s biggest pumped storage facility is currently being built in Linthal in the Canton of Glarus. Clean electricity, available at the right moment, will continue to be a key success factor for our society for a long time to come. Kraftwerke Linth-Limmern AG (KLL), in which energy company Axpo and the Canton of Glarus hold interests of 85% and 15% respectively, currently has generating capacity of 480 megawatts (MW) 10

Before construction work could start, project engineers had to build two heavy-duty cable lifts. And they are only temporary! The Linthal 2015 project demands the maximum from humans and machinery. Several tunnel boring machines are in use simultaneously. This one is in front of access shaft 1 in Tierfehd. Two one-kilometer pressure shafts with a diameter of 5.2 m and gradient of over 90% are being bored into the rock between the machine cavern and the Muttsee. and produces some 460 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. The Linthal 2015 expansion project will use a new underground pumped storage plant to lift water from the Limmernsee to the Muttsee 630 meters higher up. The new facility, with a pump and turbine capacity of 1000 MW, is scheduled to go online in 2015, boosting KLL’s capacity to 1480 MW, equal to the Leibstadt nuclear power plant or the Cleuson Dixence hydroelectric plant. To distribute its future power output and supply power for the pumps, KLL will be connected to the 380-kilovolt high-voltage grid. LARGE-SCALE CONSTRUCTION SITE IN HIGH ALPS How would you like to take an aerial cable railway to work? That’s what some 500 Swiss and foreign workers here do every day. Many of them live in a specially built set of portable cabins near Tierfehd or in the mountains near the Muttsee. At any given time, up to 500 people are working at the various building sites at 1800 or even 2500 meters above sea level. Work continues around the clock in three shifts, in full compliance with workplace safety regulations. At the moment there are no less than ten active construction sites. Two new cableways have been built to expand the existing capacity for moving people and materials. A passenger cableway runs from Tierfehd (800 meters A proud 1480 megawatts of capacity from 2015 above sea level) to the Kalktrittli mountain (1857 meters). Heavy-duty Construction cableway 1, running in parallel, started operation in early 2010 and is capable of carrying up to 25 tonnes of materials, or even 40 tonnes in exceptional cases, such as the transport of a drilling jumbo (title page) or a disassembled tunnel boring machine. The cableway’s two track ropes are a mighty 90 millimeters in diameter – a further superlative! motorex Magazine I DECEMBER 2011 11



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