Janusz Steller (IMP PAN) opens the first live meeting of the HYPOSO consortium in Gdansk, Poland, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic
On 11 October 2021, the HYPOSO consortium finally met again in person, after almost exactly two years of break because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting was excellently organized by the Polish HYPOSO partner IMP PAN (Szewalski Institute of Fluid-Flow Machinery), and included one full meeting day and a site visit day, on which the Żarnowiec Hydroelectric Power Plant was visited by the consortium.
The meeting started with an organisational overview, and an overview about the European hydro stakeholder involvement. An important advantage of the live meeting was, that the final steps before publishing the HYPOSO Map could be intensively discussed, not only during the meeting, but also during the breaks. The ongoing pandemic still causes challenges for the organisation of events in the HYPOSO target countries, namely the capacity building courses and the framework condition workshops. The partners are still trying to organize the events as live events, as they are considered more efficient than virtual courses.
Despite the odds of challenging conditions for field work, the partners from Frosio Next and IMP PAN managed to make the scheduled site visits of three potential hydropower sites, that will be evaluated and prepared until a pre-feasibility study for each site. The sites will be presented to European hydro stakeholders at a later stage of the project. The meeting day was concluded with an update about events to be involved in, a first discussion about the final study tour, and the communication measures around the HYPOSO project. The next project meeting will probably be held in Lithuania, in the spring of 2022.
The visit of the Żarnowiec Pumped Storage Power Plant on the second day of the project meeting was surely interesting for all participants. Żarnowiec is the largest Polish hydropower plant with 4 reversible units of total 716 MW capacity and 112-126 m head, and a pump capacity of 800 MW. It is located in the Northern Kashubia region at the Żarnowiec Lake, and was commissioned in 1983. The consortium members were given first a presentation about the plant and the modernization of it between 2007 and 2011, and could visit then the hydraulic units, the upper reservoir, and the tail water. HYPOSO likes to thank PGE (Polish Energy Group, the operator of Żarnowiec) for the invitation and the very informative tour.
Preparing for the visit of Żarnowiec Pumped Storage Power Plant, behind the pipelines that lead to the four turbines
Close look to the impressive pipelines (diameter at upper basin intake of 7.1 m and at the powerhouse still 5.4 m)