WBG currently is carrying out planning and design work for the 27 million euro (US$36.8 million) project, to be built at an existing weir on the Weser at Bremen. Construction would begin in spring 2008, with commissioning planned by the end of 2009.
WBG, a joint venture of Bremen-based Tandem GmbH and Hamburg-based Planet Energy GmbH, awarded a contract in June to wind turbine manufacturer Enercon to provide two hydropower turbines to Weser.
Enercon is to supply two 5-MW Kaplan turbines utilizing the gearless design of Enercon's wind energy converters. The units' variable speed capability is expected to exploit tidal differences in water flows more efficiently than units with a conventional rigid coupling.
The companies said the units are expected to allow annual generation of 42 million kWh, 10 percent more than previous turbine concepts. Additionally, WBG expects the Enercon units to improve fish protection because they will run at a much lower speed than other units.
�We've spent a lot of time and effort finding ways to transfer our experience with wind energy to hydropower,� Enercon founder Aloys Wobben said. �The Weser hydropower plant will be our proof of concept.�
For information, contact Managing Director Hucky Heck, Weserkraftwerk Bremen GmbH, Am Dobben 39, 28203 Bremen, Germany; (49) 421-704411; Fax: (49) 421-704480; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: www.weserkraftwerk-bremen.de.